Timor-Leste stands in solidarity with Vanuatu

Minister of State and of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and

Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste

  Díli, March 20, 2015

Timor-Leste stands in solidarity with Vanuatu

The Government of Timor-Leste express its solidarity with the people and State of Vanuatu after the devastation wrought by Cyclone Pam. The thoughts of the Timorese people are with the families and friends of those lost and injured.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has so far reported that the cyclone has caused 11 fatalities.

More than three thousand people have been sheltering in 37 evacuation centers around the country.  Authorities declared a state of emergency in the province of Shefa, home to the country's capital Port Vila, where about 80,000 people live.

Vanuatu is a special friend of Timor-Leste and was a brave and steadfast supporter of the Timorese people in the struggle for independence.

In 2011, on receiving the Order of Vanuatu first class medal in Port Villa, H.E. Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão noted “At the darkest and most difficult of times, when we were alone and could count on few friends, Vanuatu stood with us. Timor-Leste will never forget this support.”

In this “most difficult of times” for Vanuatu Timor-Leste affirms its solidarity and commends all those working to provide assistance. Reconstruction will require long-term support.

Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste, Minister of State Agio Pereira said “We extend our hand of friendship to President H.E. Baldwin Lonsdale and Prime Minister H.E. Joe Natuman, the State of Vanuatu and all impacted by this devastating cyclone.”