07 January 2009

East Timor Ministry of Social Solidarity assists 492 families from six IDP camps to return home

MINISTRY OF SOCIAL SOLIDARITY PRESS RELEASE 6 January 2008 MSS assists 492 families from six IDP camps to return home

During December 2008, MSS assisted more than 492 families from six IDP camps in Dili to return home. On 2 December, MSS facilitated the reintegration of 68 families from Igreja Becora and Salaun Prinsipal Becora. On 15 December, MSS commenced assisting 192 families from Camara and Canossa Lecidere IDP camps to return home. On 18 December, MSS commenced the facilitation of the reintegration of 220 families from Igreja Motael IDP camp. On 22 December, MSS assisted 12 families from INAP to return to their homes.

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 MSS to help them rebuild or repair their homes have received 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, thanked the camp managers at each of the camps for their work over the past two and a half years. They also thanked the SLS agencies – IOM, CARE and Plan - for providing the camps with humanitarian assistance, and Oxfam, Plan, and UNICEF for their water and sanitation support to the camps over the past two years.

The MSS/UNDP dialogue teams helped organize preparatory meetings at the camps to support the return of IDPs. The MSS/UNDP dialogue teams work 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, expressed their hope that IDPs are able to return to their former homes and rehabilitate them in peace.

With the return of IDPs from Igreja Becora, Salaun Prinsipal Becora, Camara and Canossa Lecidere, Igreja Motael, and INAP more than 11,300 IDP families have received a recovery or reintegration package under the Hamutuk Hari’i Futuru National Recovery Strategy. A total of 54 IDP camps are now closed. Nine camps remain open in Dili. MSS hopes to close these nine camps by the end of February 2009.

Image added by ETLJB - An IDP camp in East Timor.

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