East Timor: Over US$6 mln mobilised in international support for flood response

Over US$6.2 million (5.2 million euros) has already been mobilized in support from several international partners for East Timor’s emergency response after the floods of the beginning of the month, the United Nations announced on Tuesday. 

The balance, in addition to support from the private sector and private donations, both inside and outside the country, was made by Roy Trivedy, United Nations Resident Coordinator in East Timor, in a meeting between the Government and the international community.

According to Trivedy, the amount already mobilized includes around US$5.3 million (4.45 million euros) in support announced by the Australian Government – part of which will arrive in Dili on Wednesday, as well as initial contributions from countries such as the United States, China, New Zealand and Japan.

In the case of the United Nations, total support, both new funding and reallocation of funds earmarked for other programs, is around $1.3 million (1.1 million euros).

In the case of both the UN and other development partners, emergency support – additional support in both the short and medium term has yet to be announced – is largely being channelled from other planned activities.

“We are still expecting announcements of support from the European Union, Portugal and the Asian Development Bank, among others, soon,” he explained.

Trivedy recalled that, in addition to this emergency support, it is essential to analyse medium and long-term support, namely for reconstruction and rehabilitation of infrastructure.

The aid, for now, is to support displaced families and those most affected by the floods, although practically all the assistance has been channelled to Dili, with little or none reaching the remaining municipalities.

Speaking on the same occasion, Munkhtuya Altangerel, responsible for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in East Timor, detailed one of the programs that the organization wants to implement, namely the “cash or food for work” program, which involves the mobilization of 5,000 young people to clean affected neighbourhoods in Dili. 

The initiative, he said, would channel direct income to the workers and their families, as well as help affected communities recover from the impact of the floods.

The initial forecast is that the programme could run for six months, with an eventual extension to a year, with over 30,000 people indirectly benefiting from income and food and over 69,000 benefiting from the impact of the clean-up actions.

Overall the programme will cost around two million dollars (1.68 million euros), and after support already committed by the Asian Development Bank, UNDP and South Korea, around 753,000 dollars (633,000 euros) are still to be raised.