Veterans care association is actively involved in providing support to the veterans and people of Timor Leste, who were devastated by a flood and landslide catastrophe. Which has now developed into a health crisis. Veterans care is continually raising funds to provide for emergency medical and sustainable items as well as deploying a two-man Team of Michael Stone and Mark Herewini to provide on-site mentoring and recovery support. Your financial support to assist in the recovery effort is appreciated through our donation GoFundMe site. Up to date reports are available on our Timor Awakening Facebook page

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On the 8Th of April, it was declared a state of calamity in Dili, from the result of heavy rains across the country from 29th March to 4th April and have resulted in flash floods and landslides affecting 13 municipalities in Timor-Leste to varying degrees, with the capital Dili and the surrounding low-lying areas the worst affected. To date, a total of 46 fatalities (including 10 missing, presumed dead) have been recorded in Dili (22), Ainaro (10), Aileu (1), Baucau (1), Covalima (2), Manatuto (6), and Viqueque (4). This figure could be higher, many are missing.  Several humanitarian donors have provided additional humanitarian funding to support the flood response, including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, and United States.

The latest official figures also indicate a total of 43 evacuation facilities in Dili municipality, where 12,378 people – or 3,010 households – are temporarily sheltered. Urgent needs in these evacuation facilities are WASH facilities, food and drinking water, non-food items, and medicine.

With the strict lockdown in Dili municipality temporarily suspended on 9 April in view of the ongoing flood response, as of 12 April, there were 525 active cases of COVID-19. The majority of the country is cut off, through bridges and roads being washed away as well as Covid ‘fences’. Many health issues remain, including Covid, water-borne disease, malnutrition, and lack of accessible critical health care. The risk of further spread of COVID-19 remains high, an additional risk for first-line responders and a threat to community health. 

On ground Support

On the 12th of April Veterans Care Association program director, Michael Stone landed our privately funded charter flight to Dili with a plane full of medical supplies consisting of many boxes of vitamins, diarrhea treatment, oral solution, asthma medication, pain killers, cough medicine, and much more. Mark Herewini arrived a few days later. Michael and Mark are on the ground and have been working around the clock with the Timorese veterans, NGOs and in support of the TL Govt. There is much to do be done and they will be doing their utmost to help the most vulnerable and isolated.

 Veterans care is continually raising money to purchase food, basic supplies and temporary shelter to those affected by the devastating floods and landslides in Timor-Leste. Over 8000 people are reported to have been left homeless, without food, medical supplies, shelter, clothing and are extremely vulnerable Religious organisations, Government buildings, schools are being used to house them. . More than 25,000 households have experienced flood damage and being filled with meters of mud and silt. The government is providing humanitarian assistance to those affected, with the support of the community and NGOs.

This disaster is unprecedented, and with the worst flooding in memory.

Cash is being distributed through the Veterans Care Association direct to Australia/Timor-Leste Veterans Friendship Association, controlled by our most trusted friends amongst the most senior Timor-Leste Veterans. We have successfully completed many projects together with our brothers and sisters from the Timorese veteran community – we can act fast and have the trust, relationships, and support of local authorities and organisations providing support, such as church missions.

Between the GoFundMe donations, private donations, and Veterans Care Association donation, we have sent over AU$70,000.00 to provide immediate relief and aid to our brothers and sisters in Timor-Leste.

US$50,000 has been received and put immediately into action in Timor-Leste, as promised. There have been no overheads, no delays (we have worked hard to get this money to the ground fast – thank you VCA volunteers!).

In the first tranche of money that was dispatched on the 7th of April, US$10,000 was immediately donated to SABEH, the largest local NGO providing first line health care to the community, with 125 volunteer Timorese Doctors and Nurses, and many more supporting them (http://saudebaemahotu.org/, https://web.facebook.com/Saudebaemahotu). Dr Andre Pereira Belo is eternally grateful and looks forward to sending a special letter of thanks with photos of the work they are doing.

The Timorese Council for Combatants of the Liberation (CCLN) and the wider Timorese veteran community have made public announcements of the donations received and their thanks to you for your compassion and generosity. Last week, despite many of them losing everything themselves in the floods, they gathered what they could, put in personal money, and were out in the community helping the vulnerable. In the last two days, with the first tranche of US$20,000.00, money donated in this fundraiser, they have supported 498 households, with items such as Tarpaulin, Sacks of Rice, Cooking Oil, Chairs, Noodles, eating utensils, eating plates and bowls, Clothes, washing powder, Soap, Toothpaste, sleeping mat, Sheets, Pillows, Toothbrush, Washing buckets, Shampoo. They have done so in a systematic, fair, and orderly way recording the details of all goods purchased and recipient families. The work continues.

Quick Facts Compiled by the UN
13 Municipalities affected (out of 13 municipalities)
25,022 Total affected households across the country
4,384 Houses destroyed or damaged across the country
43 Evacuation facilities in Dili
46 Fatalities

See the full UN Situation Report released on the 12th April:

Any support you can provide will assist us, all donations above $2 are tax-deductible and the receipt is provided immediately via email. No donation is too small.

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