Food Distribution Continues Amid New Unrest, Camp Management Challenges


IOM today went ahead with rice deliveries to displaced families at
the Comoro airport and Arte Moris IDP camps, despite growing
political tension following week-long demonstrations and the
threatened resignation last night of President Xanana Gusmao.

As supporters of the president gathered outside the Palacio do
Governo this week calling for the resignation of the Prime Minister
Dr Mari Alkatiri, IOM trucks delivered 120 MT of rice from
government warehouses to more than 20 IDP camps around Dili.

Since June 5th, IOM has delivered nearly 700 MT of rice to
Dili’s estimated 70,000 IDPs.

Working with NGO partners Rede Feto and AustCare, IOM also began
to manage the sprawling Comoro airport IDP site, which has
currently spread beyond the airport perimeter to the Meteorological
Institute on the other side of the road.

Camp residents today started to collect a two-week rice ration
of 4 kg per person. With more than 5,000 people now sheltering the
camp, each of the site’s 592 tents has now been allocated a
ration card.

As political tensions continue to rise, IOM is also working with
its partners to manage an influx of new IDPs at the camp and to
provide adequate shelter and sanitation. UNHCR is providing
additional tents, while UNICEF is responsible for water and

“We have to move fast to ensure that these families have
what they need for a safe and healthy life while they are too
afraid to return to their homes in the current political
climate,” says IOM Chief of Mission Luiz Vieira.

To ease the pressure on overcrowded and unsanitary living
conditions at other IDP sites in Dili, a new IDP camp at the
stadium is set to open next week. UNHCR has erected 183 tents on
the site and UNICEF has already begun to install water and
sanitation facilities.

IOM is currently working with the government and partner NGO
Rede Feto to identify IDPs in sub-standard camps for relocation to
the stadium camp once it is finished.

For more information, please contact:

Angela Sherwood

IOM Dili

Tel: +670 726 6008

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© IOM 2006 (Photo: Angela Sherwood)