East Timor Ministry of Social Solidarity Press Release 20 October 2008
MSS assists 408 IDP families from Obrigado Barracks camp to return home
Commencing today, as part of the government’s Hamutuk Hari’i Futuru national recovery strategy, 408 families from the Obrigado Barracks IDP camp will be assisted to return to their homes.
The Secretary of State for Social Assistance and Natural Disasters, Jacinto Rigoberto Alves, thanked UNMIT for their patience and good will in providing a safe shelter for the displaced people at the camp over the past two years. He encouraged the returning IDPs to return home peacefully and to work with their receiving communities and PNTL and UNPol to ensure their communities remain stable and secure.
The Secretary of State 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/UNDP Dialogue Teams, and they will try to help you resolve these problems through dialogue.”
The UNMIT Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General, Finn Reske-Nielsen, thanked the people of Obrigado Barracks camp for being good neighbours to the UN for the past two years. “I wish to congratulate the government, especially the Ministry of Social Solidarity, for its success in reintegrating displaced people from more than half of the IDP camps.” Mr Finn Reske-Nielsen also thanked UNPol and UN agencies, such as IOM, UNDP, and UNICEF, and NGOs such as Concern, CRS, CARE and NRC for their work at the camps and during the reintegration process.
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, only 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. Where 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 to assist families to return and reintegrate into their communities. MSS is helping IDPs through the Hamutuk Hari’i Futuru. It is not a youth compensation program. The government is very concerned about how to resolve the problems of youth, and the Secretary of State for Youth and Culture, is working hard to develop government programs to provide more opportunities to the nation’s youth.”
The Secretary of State for Social Assistance and Natural Disasters, Jacinto Rigoberto Alves, thanked the Camp Manager, Augustina Ximenes Pinto, for her work in the camp over the past two years. He also thanked Concern and IOM for providing the Obrigado Barracks camp with humanitarian assistance, and UNICEF for their water and sanitation support to the camp over the past two years.
On 17 October 106 families were assisted to return to their homes from Tasi-Tolu Transitional Housing camp. The Minister for Social Solidarity, Maria Domingas Fernandes Alves, thanked the Camp Managers, Sabino Gusmao and Gregorius Silvester, for their work in the camp over the past two years. She also thanked NRC for providing the Tasi-Tolu Transitional Housing camp with humanitarian assistance, and Triangle, UNICEF, Plan and ASF for their support to the camp over the past two years.
With the return of the IDPs from Obrigado Barracks and Tasi-Tolu Transitional Housing camps, a total of more than 8600 IDP families will have received a recovery package or a reintegration package under the Hamutuk Hari’i Futuru National Recovery Strategy. A total of 28 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, Seminario Minor Balide, Dom Bosco, Sao Jose, Hera Port, Tibar Turleu, Tibar Ismaik,Tibar Matadorou.