With flood recovery efforts underway, Timor Leste faces dual challenge of combatting a Covid-19 spike

Image: Par Jose_Matheus via Shuttlestock. Suai Timor Leste: children fetching water with jerrycan in the village.

Extreme weather in Timor-Leste over the Easter weekend from Tropical Cyclone Seroja has devastated the country; as flash floods and landslides have left forty two people killed and seventy others unaccounted for. As Timor-Leste grapples with navigating a path out of the destruction, it faces a growing new problem of a surge in Covid-19 community transmission. With thousands in the capital Dili displaced and sheltering in emergency centres, Covid-19 restrictions have been eased temporarily, and the country has experienced a jump in community transmission. The dire situation the country now faces, has caused the government to declare a state of calamity and ask for international assistance. Australia has pledged $7 million in emergency relief for flood-recovery and to non-government organisations working in the area including the Timorese and Australian Red Cross. As the extent of the damage is being assessed, the question is, how far will this funding will go?



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