Timor-Leste flood and COVID-19 response
Senator the Hon Marise Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Women
Australia is working in partnership with our close friend and neighbour Timor-Leste to support its recovery from the devastating Easter weekend flooding and its impact on COVID-19 preparedness. In response to a request for assistance from the Government of Timor-Leste, our emergency relief of $7 million will support the estimated 100,000 people affected by the deluge and address critical food security needs.
This assistance is in addition to immediate support Australia provided on the ground in Dili to thousands of people sheltering in evacuation centres, and by helping to restore power to the Integrated COVID Crisis Centre, COVID-19 treatment centre, checkpoints, and police facilities.
Australia’s additional $7 million in emergency relief will include:
- the immediate provision of personal protective equipment to replenish Timor-Leste’s stores, reduced due to flooding
- emergency relief materials such as temporary shelter and critical household items to replace those lost in the floods
- financial assistance to the Timorese and Australian Red Cross and other local and non-government organisations helping with the relief efforts
- assistance through the World Food Programme to address local food supply shortages.
Australia is also working with the Timor-Leste government to respond to its COVID-19 vaccine needs. This is part of our $623.2 million vaccine initiative for the Pacific and Southeast Asia and supplements our $80 million contribution to the multilateral COVAX Facility Advance Market Commitment for developing countries.
This package of assistance builds on the ongoing work of our development program to improve access to clean water, ensure women have access to safe accommodation and provide access to counselling services and psychosocial support.
Australia stands ready to provide further assistance including through AUSMAT public health specialists to help the COVID-19 management and vaccine rollout.