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October 26, 2023  As tropical cyclone Seroja battered Timor-Leste on April 4, 2021, torrential rain poured down across the country. Dili, the capital, recorded 342 millimeters of rainfall in just 24 hours — almost ten times more than any other day during the wet season.

It is fair to say that the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has caught the world by surprise and is now forcing governments to focus on better health emergency preparedness and more effective responses. The World Bank’s massive COVID-19 response is currently helping more than 100 countries.