29 July 2009

Closure of Metinaro IDP Camp in Dili, East Timor

Closure of Metinaro Camp: From Humanitarian Assistance to the Promotion of Social Peace and Stability with the financial support of the European Commission

The European Commission is supporting the effort of the Government for the reintegration of IDPs from Metinaro and others IDP camps for a total amount of € 1.5 million (2 million US Dollars). This financial support is enabling IOM to effectively improve social and economic conditions within communities receiving IDPs so as to create the space needed for the transition to long-term stability and development programming.

[] Since June 2006, the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Department (DG ECHO) has provided relief assistance to the internally displaced persons (IDPs) for a total amount of € 7.8 million (11 million US Dollar). This support had enabled International Organisations to effectively support the Ministry of Social Solidarity in the provision of critical humanitarian assistance to the IDP camps.

During the closure of Timor-Leste’s major IDP Camp in Metinaro, IOM, with DG ECHO funds, provided essential assistance to the Government of Timor-Leste with the voluntary return of over 950 families. The 9,000 inhabitants of Metinaro living at the site for the past three years are part of up to 100,000 of people displaced by the 2006 civil unrest. The return and resettlement of Metinaro camp IDPs marks the closure of the last of 65 tented IDP sites in Timor-Leste.

However, European Commission support to IOM goes beyond key funding for emergency response activities. Understanding the need to work toward the sustainable and peaceful return of the displaced, the European Commission also provides financial support to a series of activities with the objective to promote social peace and stability in areas and communities suffering from the 2006 crisis.

In addition of ECHO contribution, the EC, with the support of the Instrument for Stability is also funding IOM’s project “Enhancing Stabilisation through Sustainable Reintegration of IDPs” in Timor-Leste. This project with a total budget of € 1.5 million (2 million US Dollar) seeks to enhance community stability by improving community infrastructure in high-tension areas and by assisting these communities to deal with challenges related to the return of large numbers of formerly IDPs. Among other activities, this project will also develop and broadcast a locally produced Soap Opera that aims to launch a reflection on the impacts of the violence and displacement.

"One cannot over-emphasize the importance of these initiatives which are essential to lay the early foundations for the return and reintegration of IDPs in the communities. The European Commission recognizes the need to assist host communities in order to reduce the risks in a context of fragility as a contribution to support the commendable efforts of the Government to assure a long term stability in Timor-Leste", said Mr. Juan Carlos Rey, Ambassador of the European Commission to Timor-Leste.

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Delegation of the European Commission to Timor-Leste
CASA EUROPA, Avenida Presidente Nicolau Lobato, Acait Dili – Timor-Leste, P.O. Box 52
Tel: (+670 3) 311 580 Fax (+670 3) 311 581/582 e-mail: delegation-timor-leste@ec.europa.eu
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