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15 September 2008

East Timor Ministry of Social Solidarity: Ceremony to Present Recovery Packages to Victims of Crisis in Viqueque and Baucau

MINISTRY OF SOCIAL SOLIDARITY
PRESS RELEASE
12 September 2008

Ceremony to Present Recovery Packages to Victims of Crisis in Viqueque and Baucau

On 11 September 2008, at a ceremony in Viqueque, the Secretary of State for Social Assistance and Natural Disasters, Jacinto Rigoberto Gomes, announced that, commencing today, 383 victims of the crisis in Viqueque and 56 victims in Baucau, will be able to receive their recovery grants through bank accounts at the BNU.

The Secretary of State said, “The Fourth Constitutional Government developed the Hamutuk Hari’i Futuru National Recovery Strategy to ensure the victims of the 2006 and 2007 crisis would be able to rebuild their homes. On behalf of the government, I wish to apologise to the families who have been living out in the open or under tents for more than a year. I wish to thank you for your patience. During this time, MSS has been working alongside the local authorities, including the Chefe Sucos, Chefe Aldeias, and District Administration, to facilitate the registration, verification and socialization process. We hope that these recovery grants will help enable you to rebuild and return to your homes.”

MSS decided the most secure way for the victims of the crisis in Viqueque and Baucau to receive their recovery grants would be through the BNU branches in Viqueque and Baucau. MSS has opened an account for each recipient at the BNU. Recipients will not pay any bank charges. Recipients can collect their recovery package at any branch of the BNU in Timor-Leste. In order to receive their recovery packages, recipients will have to show their electoral card. Each of the victims will also receive 16kg of rice.

The District Administrator of Viqueque, Francisco da Silva, thanked the government for its attention to the problems of the people Viqueque, especially the victims of the 2007 crisis. “We hope that as a result of the implementation of the government’s policy, the lives of the victims will improve again, and each family will again be able to live in their own house.”

A representative of the Baucau victims, Sebastiao Uairia, thanked the government, and especially MSS for their work to assist the victims of the 2007 crisis. He encouraged the government to try to improve conditions so that people in these districts can live together in peace. He said the crisis had occurred, in part, because the formal justice system is not functioning well: “people can commit crimes, and because the justice system is not working, many years later the perpetrators are still walking free. I therefore entreat the government to improve the justice system so that we can try to resolve this ongoing cycle of violence.”

The Secretary of State thanked the BNU for facilitating the payment process so that victims of the crisis in Viqueque and Baucau can receive their recovery packages in a safe and secure manner. He also thanked the District Administrators of Viqueque and Baucau, the Sub-District Administrators, the PNTL, NGOs and the church for working together with MSS to facilitate the registration, verification and socialization processes.

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