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09 October 2008

East Timor Government assists 889 IDP families return home

TLGov: MSS assists 889 IDP families from five camps to return home MINISTRY OF SOCIAL SOLIDARITY PRESS RELEASE 7 October 2008 MSS assists 889 IDP families from five camps to return home

Since mid-September MSS has assisted more than 889 families from five IDP camps to return home. On 15 September MSS facilitated the reintegration of 208 families from Sao Jose Balide IDP camp. On 22 September MSS assisted 366 families from Hera Port IDP camp to return home. On 3 October MSS commenced assisting with the reintegration of more than 300 families from the Tibar IDP camps (Turleu, Ismaik. Matadorou).

Each of the families was assisted to return with transport provided by the Ministry of Social Solidarity and IOM. UNPol provided security during the movement from the camps. Each person, including children, has also received 16 kg of rice. Those who are eligible to receive a recovery grant from the MSS to help them rebuild or repair their homes can receive the money at the BPA.

The Minister of Social Solidarity, Maria Domingas Fernandes Alves, and the Secretary of State for Social Assistance and Natural Disasters, Jacinto Rigoberto Gomes, have thanked the camp managers at each of the camps for their work over the past two years. They also thanked the SLS agencies ­ IOM and NRC - for providing the camps with humanitarian assistance, and Oxfam, Caritas Australia, Plan, Triangle and UNICEF for their support to the camps over the past two years.

The MSS/UNDP dialogue teams have helped organize preparatory meetings at the camps to support the return of IDPs. They have also held dialogue meetings in Cristo Rei, and sucos Becora, Metinaro, Fatuhada, and Camea to support IDP reintegration from these five camps. The MSS/UNDP dialogue teams have been working with Chefe Aldeias, Chefe Sucos and youth representatives in the receiving communities to try to ensure that the situation in areas of return remains peaceful. The Minister of Social Solidarity, and the Secretary of State for Social Assistance and Natural Disasters, have expressed their hope that IDPs are able to return to their former homes and rehabilitate them in peace.

With the return of IDPs from Sao Jose, Hera Port and the Tibar camps, more than 7700 IDP families will have received a recovery or reintegration package under the Hamutuk Hari’i Futuru National Recovery Strategy. 28 IDP camps are now closed.

Image: An IDP camp in Dili.

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