But with the growing risk of COVID-19 spreading in crowded evacuation centres, the situation is critical.
The threat of COVID-19
Extreme weather events don't usually reach Timor-Leste and Cyclone Seroja took the small country by surprise, devastating families who were already struggling and threatening the country's fragile health system.
UNICEF is always prepared to help children in an emergency but this is far from normal.
This time the disaster hit at the same time as an escalation in the country’s COVID-19 situation. In Dili, the floods disturbed a COVID-19 lockdown, displacing more than 13,500 people into crowded evacuation centres. Many already live well below the poverty line.
UNICEF is on the ground providing:
- Clean drinking water, soap and handwashing stations
- blankets, mats and jerry cans
- hand sanitiser and face masks
- child friendly spaces and psychosocial first aid.