Food Distribution Extended to Eastern Districts

Posted: 
06/15/06

IOM will start to deliver food aid to over
40,000 internally displaced Timorese in the Eastern districts of
Baucau, Lautem and Viqueque early next week.

Working in close cooperation with the Timorese
Ministry of Labour and partner agencies including Care
International and World Vision, IOM will deliver some 573 MT of
government rice and other food supplied by the UN World Food
Programme (WFP), including cooking oil, sugar and corn soya
blend.

The rice delivery, which will provide 2kgs per
person per week for a month, follows a small government delivery of
less than 100MT to Baucau two weeks ago, and will take pressure off
local authorities and host communities struggling to feed displaced
families arriving from Dili.

IOM Chief of Mission Luiz Vieira, who is
scheduled to visit Baucau with the Minister of Labour and UN
officials tomorrow, says that while the needs of the estimated
67,000 IDPs in Dili camps have now been identified, the picture in
the Eastern districts is far less clear.

“Some people will be taken care of by
their extended families, but many are going back to very little in
poor rural communities. We need to support government’s
efforts to meet their needs and those of the community to alleviate
hardship and minimize the inevitable long term bitterness caused by
displacement,” he says.

Steady rain last night and this morning added
to the misery of the thousands of displaced people sheltering in
makeshift IDP camps around Dili and on neighbouring Atauro
island.

An IOM mission to deliver 41 MT of government
rice to Atauro is currently awaiting the arrival of a ferry from
Kupang in West Timor. Some 1,300 people have fled to the island
from Dili and the distribution of two weeks supply of food will
target both IDPs and the island’s normal population of
9,000.

Other agencies including WFP, UNHCR, UNDESA,
Oxfam, CRS, CARE and local NGO Belun will use the same ferry to
deliver additional food, tents, plastic sheeting, mosquito nets,
blankets, hygiene kits and five vehicles to facilitate the
distribution.

In Dili today IOM trucks delivered 24 MT of
government rice to the Dom Bosco IDP camp, which hosts some 13,000
people. A further 2.3 MT was delivered to the smaller Arte Moris
camp.

The next major food distributions to Dili IDP
camps will take place between 21-25 June – two weeks after
the first distribution – if the government decides that they
are needed.

Today IOM also assumed responsibility for the
management of the IDP camp at Comoro airport, which earlier this
week took delivery of 100 UNHCR tents. It will work closely with
local NGO Rede Feto and international NGO AustCare on the site,
which hosts some 4,000 IDPs.

IOM this week received an US$837,000 grant
from the UN’s Central Emergency Revolving Fund (CERF) and AUD
300,000 (US$ 223,000) from Australia to deliver food, water and
non-food relief items to the IDPs and coordinate aid to the IDP
camps.

On Monday it appealed for US$1.9 million over
the next three months to help the government to coordinate the
logistics needed to deliver food and non-food relief items to IDPs.
The money, part of an US$18.9 million UN Flash Appeal, will also go
towards helping the government to coordinate IDP camp management,
identify outstanding needs in the camps and cover any shortfalls in
terms of shelter and non-food relief items.

IOM has operated in Timor Leste since October
1999. It currently employs 75 staff in Timor Leste, of whom 10 are
internationals, and has offices in Dili, Baucau, Viqueque and Los
Palos.

For more information, please contact:

Chris Lom

IOM Dili

Tel.: +670.723.1576

E-mail: "mailto:clom@iom.int" target="_blank" title=
"">clom@iom.int