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Help to Timor-Leste for floods, vaccines

Australia has responded to a request for help from the government of Timor-Leste with a $7 million relief package to support 100,000 people affected by flooding.

The assistance follows Australia’s immediate support in the capital Dili to people sheltering in evacuation centers after a devastating Easter weekend deluge. A statement from Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne and International Development Minister Zed Seselja said on Sunday.

After the flood, immediate support from Australia included restoring power to the country’s COVID-19 crisis and treatment centers and police facilities.

The extra $7 million in emergency relief will cover personal protective equipment, which has dwindled due to flooding, temporary shelter, and necessary household items.

Funds will also go to the Timorese and Australian Red Cross and other non-governmental organizations to help flood-recovery efforts and the World Food Programme to address food-supply shortages.

The Australian government is also helping Timor-Leste respond to its COVID-19 vaccine needs as part of a multi-million dollar vaccine initiative for the Pacific and Southeast Asia.

Australia is involved in securing vaccines for developing countries, including an $80 million contribution to the international COVAX Facility Advance Market Commitment.

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