Press Release

Government of Timor-Leste and Partners Appeal for US$32 Million to Assist Flood Victims and Early Recovery

01 June 2021

  • Following the devastation caused by the floods in April that affected many families in  the country, today the Government and humanitarian partners, including the United  Nations, are launching a joint Appeal for US $32m to respond to residual humanitarian  needs and assist with early the recovery process to December 2021.  

Dili, TIMOR-LESTE, 01 JUNE 2021: The Government, together with humanitarian  partners, officially launched a Joint Appeal to address the residual humanitarian  needs for the most vulnerable affected people and assist with early-recovery efforts in Timor-Leste. The appeal requests US$32.7 million (US $8.8m for immediate needs  and US$23.9 for short-term requirements) that will directly assist 65,000 people and  indirectly benefit all flood-affected population. A multi-sectoral response, the appeal  identifies priority activities to address critical gaps across 9 sectors: Camp  Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) and Emergency Shelter; Water,  Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH); Gender and Protection; Food Security; Nutrition;  Health; Education; Early Recovery and Livelihoods; and, Emergency Logistics. 

The Government has allocated US$65.2 million through the Contingency Fund while  the humanitarian partners including the United Nations, have so far committed  US$10.7 million to support the response efforts. However, following the rapid  assessments that have been completed, critical funding gaps still remain to meet  the priority needs of the flood-affected communities and to kick-start the recovery  process.  

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, H.E. Ms. Adaljiza Magno in her opening  remarks stated that despite the significant efforts from the Government side to  deliver the emergency needs to flood affected populations as well as increasing the  contingency fund to implement short and long term programs to recover from the  calamity, there are still considerable funding gap need to be filled. Therefore, H.E.  Minister, on behalf of the government, calling upon for a voluntary contribution in  order to help Timor-Leste to scale-up measures to recover from the catastrophic  disaster.  

The 2021 Timor-Leste Floods Response Plan will facilitate a coordinated by the  Government and the humanitarian partners focusing on the next 7 months from end-

May to end-December 2021 with the aim of supporting a sustainable recovery and  helping lay the foundations for ‘Building Back Better’.  

The plan was jointly developed by the Government of Timor-Leste with support from  the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office and all humanitarian partners. A copy of the  detailed Joint Appeal is available at 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lBoh1Cr10dTiMiG2Sh5W4OXqoDmyzEpy/view?… =sharing. Under the Government leadership, more than 86 organisations – 9 UN  agencies, 63 humanitarian partners, and 14 Ministries/Departments – will participate  in the 7-month Joint Response Plan ending in December 2021.  

The latest official figures, show that 33,835 households have been affected by the  floods across all 13 municipalities, with 44 reported fatalities.  

Extensive damages have been reported to houses, buildings (including health  facilities and COVID-19 quarantine and isolation centres), public infrastructure and  agricultural land. A total of 2,163 hectares of agricultural land have been affected,  negatively impacting food security in the coming days.  

This disaster comes when the country has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases in recent  months. The temporary displacement of people poses an increased threat to the  further spread of COVID-19 and outbreak of other diseases.  

United Nations Resident Coordinator Roy Trivedy emphasised that “it is imperative to  speed up the delivery of assistance to Timor-Leste at this critical stage to prevent  further loss of lives, additional damage to essential public services and  infrastructure, and to stop the spread of diseases.” He also highlighted the fact that  “this tragedy has hit at a time when the country is already struggling with the  dangerous situation caused by COVID19.” 

This Response Plan aims to directly target the humanitarian and early recovery  needs of approximately 65,000 flood-affected people living with existing  vulnerabilities. All flood-affected populations are expected to benefit directly and  indirectly from the response, including rehabilitation of critical public infrastructure  and restoration of essential services. In line with the Secretariat of State for Civil  Protection’s Flood Response Strategy, the plan will prioritise support to those who  remain in the evacuation centres, support the safe return and early recovery of those  who were temporarily displaced and since returned to their communities.  

-END 

BACKGROUND NOTE FOR EDITOR 

JOINT NEWS RELEASE 

On 23 April, the National Parliament approved the amendment to the 2021 General  State Budget to respond to the impact of COVID-19 and the flooding, which the  President subsequently promulgated on 4 May. The allocation to the COVID-19 Fund  increased from USD 31 million to USD 287.6 million, while the Contingency Fund  allocation increased from USD 23.8 million to USD 65.2 million.  

Many humanitarian partners and donors have supported the flood response through  humanitarian funding and/or repurposing existing resources. In solidarity with the  affected people of Timor-Leste, more donors, including the private sector, have been  mobilising resources in support of the flood-affected people. Over USD 10.73 million  of additional humanitarian funding has been mobilised by donors, UN agencies,  humanitarian partners and the private sector.  

The second phase of the humanitarian response, namely support to livelihoods and  early recovery has started, including emergency cash-for-work initiatives, inputs  schemes, and infrastructure rehabilitation and reconstruction. At the request of the  Government, partners are preparing to support the Government with longer-term  recovery planning through a Household and Building Damage Assessment (HBDA), a  Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PNDA), and a Crop and Food Security  Assessment Mission (CFSAM). These assessments aim to provide more  comprehensive country-wide information to inform longer-term recovery and  reconstruction of flood-affected households, communities, and agricultural lands.  

During the Emergency Development Partners’ Meeting called by the Government on  13 April, the Government and the humanitarian partners agreed on the need for a  strongly coordinated floods response, under the leadership of the Government. The  2021 Timor-Leste Flood Response Plan, therefore, is positioned as a tool to facilitate  a coordinated floods response by the Government and the humanitarian partners  (incl. donors), focusing on the initial 9 months to address the immediate  humanitarian and early recovery needs of the most vulnerable affected people. Once  the findings of a more comprehensive assessment of damages and losses become  available, the Government and partners may consider developing a medium-term  recovery plan in line with the Government’s commitment to Build Back Better.

 

Government of Timor-Leste and Partners Appeal for US$32 Million to Assist Flood Victims and Early Recovery

AS

Ahmed Saleem

RCO
Communications Officer

Elvis Guterres

Communications Officer, Ministry of Finance

Licínio Miranda Branco

National Director for Social Communication and Promotion, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.

UN entities involved in this initiative

UN
United Nations