UNDP East Timor Dili, 8 November 2008 - As part of their support to the National Recovery Strategy (Hamutuk Hari’i Futuru), the UNDP and the Ministry of Social Solidarity today launched the project Strengthening Early Recovery for Comprehensive and Sustainable
Reintegration of IDPs (SERC). The project seeks integration of early IDP assistance initiatives into the National Recovery Strategy and relevant national priorities for sustainable peace and development in the country.
With the recognition by the Government and its international partners of the need to provide more assistance to returning IDPs and receiving communities, the launch of the project is timely. It will benefit them through small-scale infrastructure projects, established in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Solidarity to foster a smooth reintegration and resettlement process. While the MSS/UNDP dialogue teams strengthen MSS capacity and civil society engagement in dialogue processes and reconciliation, this project addresses the lack of social cohesion and basic community infrastructure, providing assistance to returning IDPs and receiving communities. It will facilitate communication and exchange among beneficiaries, reducing tensions within communities over access to scarce social amenities like food, water, schools and medical services.
This project was formally endorsed by the Minister of Social Solidarity, Ms. Maria Domingas Fernandes Alves, and UNDP Acting Country Director Hiroko Takagi, at a signing ceremony in Dili on 10 November 2008. Its total budget is USD 3,656,000 of which USD 1,250,000 is funded by UNDP. The project is seeking an additional USD 2,406,000 in funding.
In her remarks, the Minister of Social Solidarity, Ms. Maria Domingas Fernandes Alves, thanked UNDP for their generous support to the National Recovery Strategy. “Together with UNDP the Ministry of Social Solidarity hopes to work with NGOs, local authorities and others to improve the provision of basic services in receiving communities and better facilitate peaceful IDP returns,” the Minister said, adding that by rehabilitation of community infrastructure, “it is hoped we will be better able to strengthen trust throughout society and between citizens and the Government, an essential part of national recovery.”
UNDP Acting Country Director Hiroko Takagi highlighted the partnership between UNDP and the Ministry of Social Solidarity in executing the project saying this augurs well for sustainable development. Hiroko congratulated the Minister for her strong leadership in resolving the IDP issues in the country, and called on donor partners to support further implementation of this project.
Through the successful implementation of the Government’s Hamutuk Hari’i Futuru National Recovery Strategy, more than 9,800 IDP families have returned to their homes. As past experience shows, their successful resettlement and reintegration requires not only a range of assistance packages but also a process that can pave the way for repairing the community relations strained in the aftermath of the 2006 crisis.