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11 September 2008

Ministry of Social Solidarity assists 628 IDP families from Dom Bosco camp to return home

MINISTRY OF SOCIAL SOLIDARITY
PRESS RELEASE
8 September 2008

MSS assists 628 IDP families from Dom Bosco camp to return home

Commencing today, as part of the government’s Hamutuk Hari’i Futuru national recovery strategy, 628 families from the Dom Bosco IDP camp will be assisted to return to their homes.

The Minister of Social Solidarity, Maria Domingas Fernandes Alves, thanked the Dom Bosco school, and the Salesian brothers and fathers for their patience and good will in providing shelter for the displaced people at the camp. She reaffirmed that MSS would only assist those people to return home who were willing and able to return to their communities. “For those who are unable to return because their house is occupied, or there are ongoing issues with the receiving community, please inform the MSS Dialogue teams, and they will try to help you resolve these problems.”

The Secretary of State for Social Assistance and Natural Disasters, Jacinto Rigoberto Alves, explained that according to the Hamutuk Hari’i Futuru National Recovery Strategy, those whose houses were destroyed or damaged during the crisis, between 1 April 2006 and 31 October 2007, are entitled to receive a recovery package according to the level of damage to their house. For families living in IDP camps who did not have a house prior to the crisis, or whose house was not damaged, the government has decided to provide reintegration packages of $200, to help them reintegrate in their communities of return. In some camps, groups of youth were also living together in one tent, and in order to facilitate their safe reintegration from the camp, MSS has also provided $200 per tent. The Secretary of State emphasized “the purpose of the Hamutuk Hari’i Futuru recovery and reintegration packages is not to provide each youth with a payment, but to assist families to return and reintegrate into their communities.”

The Minister of Social Solidarity, Maria Domingas Fernandes Alves, went on to explain that MSS is accountable to the parliament for the money being spent under the Hamutuk Hari’i Futuru National Recovery Strategy, and could not distribute recovery and reintegration packages to non-genuine applicants. “At present MSS is helping IDPs through the Hamutuk Hari’i Futuru. For youth requiring government assistance, please go to the Secretary of State for Youth and Culture, or try to access other government programs available for youth. Please do not try to exploit the Hamutuk Hari i Futuru program.”

The Minister of Social Solidarity, Maria Domingas Fernandes Alves, thanked the Camp Manager, Fr. Beljito A. Dos Santos, for his work in the camp over the past two years. She also thanked CRS for providing the Dom Bosco camp with humanitarian assistance, and UNICEF and Oxfam for their water and sanitation support to the camp over the past two years.

With the return of the IDPs from Dom Bosco camp a total of more than 6500 IDP families will have received a recovery package or a reintegration package under the Hamutuk Hari’i Futuru National Recovery Strategy. A total of 22 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, Airport and Seminario Minor Balide.

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