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08 January 2009

East Timor Ministry of Social Solidarity Crisis Recovery Packages

MINISTRY OF SOCIAL SOLIDARITY
PRESS RELEASE

7 January 2009

Ceremony to Present Recovery Packages to Victims of Crisis in Suco Estado, Ermera

On 7 January 2009, at a ceremony in Suco Estado, Ermera, the Secretary of State for Social Assistance and Natural Disasters, Jacinto Rigoberto Gomes, commenced payment of recovery packages to the victims of martial arts violence, whose houses were destroyed in November 2006. A total of 123 families today received their recovery grants.

On 9 December 2008, in Suco Estado, the Secretary of State led a dialogue by the Ermera based MSS/UNDP Dialogue team with the victims and perpetrators of the November 2006 violence. At the dialogue, he undertook to accelerate the registration and verification processes so that the victims of the crisis could rebuild their houses as soon as possible.

At the ceremony to commence payment of the recovery packages, the Secretary of State said “during 2008 MSS worked extremely hard to assist more than 11,300 IDP families to return to, and rebuild, their homes. I would also like to thank the victims of Suco Estado for their patience until now, and we hope that you will all use your recovery grants wisely to rebuild or repair your houses which were destroyed during the crisis, in line with Hamutuk Hari’i Futuru.” The Secretary of State also explained that under 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. He asked people to “strengthen community and national unity, so that Timorese do not carry out this kind of violence against one another again, and ensure there is no further destruction of houses in 2009.”

At the ceremony, MSS also provided each of the community members with 16kg of rice. This is because, at the 9 December 2008 dialogue, it was explained that part of the cause of the November 2006 conflict was hunger. The rice was provided as part of a food for work programme that will be supervised by the Chefe Suco of Suco Estado.

The Secretary of State closed the ceremony saying “I ask for your continued support of the government’s policies and your participation to help Timor-Leste move forward.”

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