Emergency Appeal: Flash Floods and Landslides in Timor-Leste and Indonesia

April 12, 2021

Residents stand along the water’s edge by damaged homes after heavy rains and strong winds lashed East Timor’s capital Dili overnight causing extensive flooding on April 4, 2021. (Photo by Valentino Dariel Sousa / AFP via Getty Images.)

Appeal Code: 7102


Floods, flash floods and landslides have caused significant damage in Indonesia’s southern-most province of East Nusa Tenggara as well as neighboring Timor-Leste. Torrential rains from Tropical Cyclone Seroja, one of the most destructive storms to hit the region in years, turned communities into wastelands of mud and uprooted trees, sending thousands fleeing to shelters. Many roads and bridges have been damaged or destroyed, and electricity is interrupted in many areas. As of April 9 the death toll stands at 165 in Indonesia and 42 in Timor-Leste.

According to the latest official figures, there are 13,554 displaced individuals – or 2,315 households – in 40 evacuation facilities in Dili, Timor-Leste’s capital. There are many more displaced in informal evacuation sites across the city.

The CWS team in Timor-Leste has done a rapid assessment both in shelters for displaced people and among people seeking shelter with neighbors and relatives. Because of concerns over a recent rapid increase in COVID19 cases in Dili many affected people hesitate to move to crowded shelters such as churches. Instead, they prefer to stay in or near their damaged houses, or with neighbors, friends, or relatives. To date humanitarian assistance has been focused on those staying in shelters while the temporarily displaced outside of shelters have received little assistance – yet they are equally at-risk.

In addition to providing lifesaving support to the temporary displaced people inside and outside of the evacuation facilities the humanitarian response needs to support the displaced to return safely to their homes.

CWS Response

The CWS teams in Indonesia and Timor-Leste have been in touch with our ACT Alliance and partner colleagues since the first hours of the disaster to determine how best to respond.

Together with partners CWS has initiated a program to support 1,000 disaster-affected families in Indonesia and Timor-Leste with hygiene kits. Each hygiene kit contains 10 pcs of bath soap (250 grams), 5 pcs toothbrush, 2 pcs toothpaste for adults (190 grams), 2 pcs toothpaste for children, 3 packs sanitary pads, 4 bottles shampoo (170 ml), 4 towels, 2 buckets with lids for water collection and storage, 2 water drippers, 2 pcs detergent (1 kg), and 1 trash can with lid.


Hygiene kits: $45,220
Other program costs, including staff, logistics and equipment: $4,780

TOTAL: $50,000

How to Help

Donations can be made online or by mailing a check to Church World Service (P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515). Please designate it to Flood Relief in Timor-Leste and Indonesia.

CWS is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.