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Help to Timor-Leste for floods, vaccines

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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 the immediate support Australia provided in the capital Dili to people sheltering in evacuation centres after a devastating Easter weekend deluge, a statement from Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne and International Development Minister Zed Seselja said on Sunday.

Immediate support from Australia after the flood included restoring power to the country’s COVID-19 crisis and treatment centres, and police facilities.

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

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Funds will also go to the Timorese and Australian Red Cross and other non-governmental organisations to help in flood-recovery efforts, and to 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 through an $80 million contribution to the international COVAX Facility Advance Market Commitment.

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