DILI----04 April 2021, United Nations supports the Government of Timor-Leste in coordinating an emergency response to the worst flash flooding recorded recently in the country. The UN Timor-Leste Country Team and humanitarian partners are fully committed to supporting the national response. UN agencies will hand over relief items to the Directorate of Civil Protection by tomorrow morning

One of the heaviest rainfalls in the recent history of Timor-Leste has badly affected the entire country, including capital Dili, resulting in the worst flooding and land sliding. The situation might worsen if the rain continues, the Timorese authorities have warned.

The National Directorate of Civil Protection briefed humanitarian partners this morning after calling an emergency meeting that country-wide flash flooding had resulted in several casualties as well as leaving numerous families homeless and with people missing. There are also reports of severe damages incurred to homes and essential infrastructure, including roads, bridges and other infrastructure. Staff from the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office, including RCO Head of Office Ms Kanako Mabuchi, attended the meeting.

“The United Nations in Timor-Leste is deeply saddened by the loss of lives and infrastructure caused by the natural disaster. This flooding has also affected many of the UN staff and families. On behalf of the UN Country Team, I express sincere condolences to those affected. We are monitoring the situation very carefully. The UN Country Team and humanitarian partners are committed to supporting national response by supporting all possible emergency measures”, UN Resident Coordinator Roy Trivedy reiterated.

The Civil Protection Directorate further briefed that several casualties had also been reported from various parts of the country. “It is difficult at this point in time to assess the multitude of damages as the rain continues on 4th consecutive day.” The Government was also concerned about the damages caused to the COVID-19 prevention and response infrastructure, including the National Lab and the two quarantine facilities in Vera Cruz and the Tasitolu areas of Dili, it was added.

“As an emergency response measure, the United Nations extends full support to the people and Government of Timor-Leste in this hour of need. We are deeply concerned about the communities, especially women and children, who are often most affected by natural disasters. We will work with the authorities to mobilise all possible resources to support the response,” Mr Trivedy added. (BT)