07 August 2008

903 IDP families from Airport camp start to return home

MINISTRY OF SOCIAL SOLIDARITY
PRESS RELEASE
6 August 2008

903 IDP families from Airport camp start to return home

Commencing today, as part of the government’s Hamutuk Hari’i Futuru national recovery strategy, 903 families from the Airport IDP camp will be assisted to return to their homes.

The Minister of Social Solidarity, Maria Domingas Fernandes Alves, thanked the IDPs for their decision to return home. The Minister told the IDPs “We want to help you achieve your rights and to return home in dignity. We hope that the security provided by the government will ensure ongoing stability in your areas of return.” The Minister encouraged the returning IDPs to contribute to their own security by trying to re-create good relationships with their receiving communities.

The Secretary of State for Social Assistance and Natural Disasters, Jacinto Rigoberto Gomes, thanked the IDPs for their participation and contribution to the return process. He explained that because the Airport camp is a large camp, it would probably take a couple of weeks to complete the movement. The Secretary of State said, “The Ministry of Social Solidarity’s door will continue to be open to you. I ask for your contribution to the nation’s stability, so that you can continue to live peacefully in your neighbourhoods in the future.”

The Camp Manager of the Airport camp, Carlito da Silva, thanked the Ministry of Social Solidarity for helping the IDPs to reintegrate into their communities. He told the camp residents “When you listen to the government, they will also listen to you”. One of the residents of the camp, Jaime Soares da Costa, asked the government and international agencies to assist with installing community infrastructure in some of the areas of return. He pointed out that in some neighbourhoods of Dili there is a shortage of water and community toilets.

The Minister of Social Solidarity, Maria Domingas Fernandes Alves, thanked the Camp Managers for their work in the camp over the past two years. She also thanked IOM, which provided Airport camp with humanitarian assistance, and UNICEF for their water and sanitation support to the camp over the past two years. The Secretary of State for Social Assistance and Natural Disasters, Jacinto Rigoberto Gomes, also thanked the Chefe Aldeias and Chefe Sucos in the receiving communities for their work with MSS to ensure that the situation in their areas of return will remain peaceful.

With the return of the IDPs from Airport camp a total of more than 4500 IDP families will have received a recovery package or a reintegration package under the Hamutuk Hari’i Futuru National Recovery Strategy. A total of 20 camps have been closed: Jardim Borja da Costa, Canossa Has Laran, Care, Dominican Sisters Beto, Gleno, Seminario Fatumeta, Hospital Guido Valadares, Jardim Nicolau Lobato, Laifet, Parliament, President’s House, Sao Miguel, Sional, Arte Moris, USAID, Bairro Pite, Police Academy, St Elisabeth, ex-CRS, EDTL.

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