Timor-Leste country profile


Timor-Leste, one of the world’s newest countries, is a small Southeast Asian island nation of 1.3 million people. The country has a tropical climate, heavily influenced by its mountainous topography and the West Pacific Monsoon. The wet season normally lasts from December to May and the dry season from June to November, with the southern parts of the country experiencing a longer wet season than other parts of the country. Rainfall is variable across the country, with the northern areas receiving less rainfall than the south.

Timor-Leste is vulnerable to natural disasters, and at high risk of cyclones, earthquakes, tsunamis and heavy rainfall, all exacerbated by limited and inadequate infrastructure and social welfare. It is strongly impacted by the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) which can vary the extent and timing of rainfall. It can also be impacted by drought and epidemics.

Although the country has seen significant developmental progress, a large portion of the population still lives in poverty. Natural hazards and the impacts of climate change stand to intensify vulnerabilities for many people, especially for the more than 70 per cent of the population that depends on rain-fed agriculture as a primary source of income.


Hazard and exposure: 2.6  |  Vulnerability: 4.4  |  Lack of coping capacity: 5.8 |  Total: 4 (medium)  |  Rank: 75




  • In 2023, together with the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap (OSM) Team and the OSM community, the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre and the Timor-Leste Red Cross Society worked with local communities to undertake a rigorous mapping of areas at risk from floods, landslides and other climate-related hazards.
  • In 2017, Start Network triggered and allocated funding ahead of the onset of drought. £198,023 or 226,098 EUR was sent to partners on the ground, including Oxfam.
  • FAO is developing early action ahead of drought impacts.
  • The Australian Red Cross is supporting Timor-Leste in the development of an Early Action Protocol (EAP).