Flood Response and Recovery Project, UNDP Timor-Leste, May 2021

Direct employment opportunities for over 5,000 people to stimulate the local economy and improve sanitation in Aldeias.

May 23, 2021

“Hamutuk Serbi Komunidade – Serving the community together” (HSK)

Dili, 23 May, 2021

Flood Response and Recovery Project, UNDP Timor-Leste, May 2021.

Today, UNDP’s emergency employment initiative for the flood response and recovery ‘Hamutuk Serbi Komunidade’ was officially launched. The launching ceremony was held in 1 of the 7 pilot Aldeias for the initiative - Aldeia 03 Anin Fuik (Aitarak Laran), Kampo Alor, Dom Alexo, Dili. The ceremony was attended by H.E. Mr. Lino de Jesus Torrezão, Vice Minister of State Administration, H.E. Mr. Alarico de Rosário, Secretary of State for Vocational Training and Employment, Mr. António Freitas, Directorate General of the External Resources Management and Mobilization of the Ministry of Finance, H.E. Mr. KINEFUCHI Masami Ambassador of Japan, H.E. Mr. KIM Jeong Ho, Ambassador of the Republic Korea, Mr. Sunil MITRA, ADB Country Director, Mr. Roy Trivedy, UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Munkhtuya Altangerel, UNDP Resident Representative, local authorities and residents of the Aldeia.

The April 4 cyclone, extreme rainfall and subsequent flooding affected all of Timor-Leste, with the capital Dili the worst affected. In response, on 16 April 2021, UNDP and the Ministry of Finance signed the Government Financing Agreement for the Supporting Flood Response and Recovery Project. The project is co-funded by the Government of Timor-Leste (ADB’s Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund financed by the Government of Japan), the Government of the Republic Korea, and UNDP.

As part of the project, UNDP has launched the emergency employment initiative called “Hamutuk Serbi Komunidade – Serving the community together” (HSK). The initiative is to provide flood affected populations with immediate employment opportunities that will stimulate local economies and improve sanitation in Aldeias. Over 5,000 people will receive cash for their labour removing debris and repairing of basic community infrastructure in over 50 flood affected Aldeias in Dili Municipality.

Based on the consultation with the relevant government ministries and the UNDP’s scoping and assessment missions, first 7 Aldeias have been selected for piloting. Today, the first Aldeia has launched its programme with selected local residents. The HSK initiative is in line with the Government’s regulation in terms of wages and selection criteria of the Aldeias and beneficiaries.

They will be working for a period of one month to clean and rehabilitate their communities. The activities encompass debris/rubble removal, sorting and disposing of the waste generated in an environmentally responsible way, cleaning/clearing open space, side roads, and stagnant drainage. The workers will be provided with the required tools and equipment, such as wheelbarrows, shovels, etc., as well as the personnel and protective equipment (PPE) to ensure their safety and security, including COVID-19 prevention. Stations for workers will be equipped with drinking water and handwashing stations as well as first aid equipment, and other required materials.

On behalf of H.E. Dr. Rui Augusto Gomes, Minister of Finance, Mr. António Freitas, Directorate General of the External Resources Management and Mobilization said that “The HSK program is the result of good cooperation between the Government and development partners to mobilize the timely support for victims of floods in April. We thank UNDP, ADB, the people of Japan and the people of the Republic of Korea. Through this program, our communities will feel valued by contributing while earning a small amount of income. This program is similar to the program run by SEFOPE in 2001, called the $ 3 program, but with the modality which is from the community and gives back to the community.”

ADB Country Director Sunil Mitra said that “I am very happy today to attend the launching ceremony of the Hamutuk Serbí Komunidade initiative. ADB's Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund financed by the Government of Japan is working with the Ministry of Finance to support the Flood Response and Recovery Project. ADB hopes this program will run well and be successful and provide relief to victims affected by floods and of course to make the community cleaner and avoid floods in the future. And I hope that everyone who registered for this program will adhere to WHO Health protocols such as using a mask and also make good use of the materials provided by the UNDP.”

H.E. Ambassador of Japan Mr. KINEFUCHI Masami said that "I would like to express once again my sincere sympathy to everyone affected by the recent flood. I sincerely hope that this project by ADB and UNDP will help accelerate the recovery and reconstruction of the Timorese people's lives."

H.E. Ambassador of the Republic of Korea Mr. KIM Jeong Ho said that "Korean government, through the Embassy and with Korean community in Timor-Leste, will continue to help early recovery of the country."

UNDP Resident Representative Munkhtuya Altangerel said that “UNDP is excited to launch this very important and timely initiative which will provide the flood-affected populations with the immediate employment opportunities and the improved living environment. UNDP will work closely with the relevant government institutions including Ministry of State Administration and local authorities for coordination, SEFOPE for monitoring of the work process and National Institute for Social Security for registering the workers to be registered to the national social security system. UNDP will also work closely with the Ministry of Health to ensure the beneficiaries adhere to health protocol to prevent COVID-19 transmission and apply strict monitoring and continuous health promotion.”