The Australian Government has announced a $7 million emergency relief assistance package for areas of Timor-Leste devastated by floods earlier this month.
CAPTION: Air movements operators from No. 13 Squadron load pallets of humanitarian aid bound for Timor Leste onto a C-17A Globemaster III A41-212 at RAAF Base Darwin. Photo by Petty Officer Peter Thompson.
This follows a request for partner assistance from the Government of Timor-Leste as it responds to the natural disaster.
Sustained heavy rain across Australia’s northern neighbour resulted in severe flooding in Dili and other parts of Timor-Leste, causing significant damage to homes, roads and bridges.
Thirty-six people have reportedly died because of the flooding with 10 still missing. More than 11,000 people are sheltering across evacuation centres.
An Air Force No. 36 Squadron C-17A Globemaster III was despatched on April 14 from RAAF Base Amberley to Dili.
Leading the flight, Flying Officer Carsten Reimers said the aid on board included much-needed emergency supplies and personal protective equipment.
The flight first touched down in Darwin to pick-up two Australian Medical Assistance Team (AUSMAT) members and then continued on to Timor-Leste to drop off 30 tonnes of humanitarian aid, including shelters and hygiene kits.
“We’re proud to be part of the DFAT led Australian Government efforts to support the Timor Government in their time of need,” Flying Officer Reimers said.
This assistance is in addition to immediate relief that was provided by the Australian Embassy and Defence Cooperation Program (DCP) personnel on the ground in Dili.
The DCP team have been working around the clock to offer whatever assistance they could in cooperation with Timorese authorities.
DCP personnel helped to restore power to the Integrated COVID Crisis Centre, and have worked alongside the Timor-Leste armed forces to support clean-up operations, delivering water purification systems and mobile kitchens to distribute hot meals to the local community.
The AUSMAT team will assist the Timor-Leste Government in tackling a large spike in COVID-19 cases.