UN says closure of Dili displaced persons camp ‘a first significant breakthrough’

4 Jul 2008

UN says closure of Dili displaced persons camp ‘a first significant breakthrough’

Dili, 29 April 2008 - A senior UN official described this week's closure of a displaced persons camp in Dili as a breakthrough in efforts to solve the long-standing issue of internally displaced persons (IDP) in Timor-Leste.
The Seminario Maior Fatumeta Camp located in Dili, will close today after 173 resident families return to their homes today.

Speaking at the camp today, the Head of the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid (OCHA) Pierre Bessuges said:

"This is a first significant breakthrough. It's a strong sign of how the country is recovering from the violence that tore the capital apart in 2006 and lead to the displacement of about 100,000 people.

About a third of those fled to camps in Dili, the rest of them sought temporary refuge with host families in the districts.

The process of reintegrating internally displaced back in to their communities is a long process and we are appealing to the international community to continue to assist by contributing to the humanitarian appeal launched last month."

Facts on IDP returns

· The return of the IDPs from the Fatumeta camp brings the total number of IDP families who have registered to return to 8692.
· The return of these families is a result of the government's ongoing hard work, with the assistance of the international community, to help IDPs return home as part of the Government's Hamutuk Hari'i Futuru national recovery strategy
· Each of the returning families will receive a recovery grant from the Ministry of Social Solidarity to help them rebuild or repair their homes.
· Each person, including children, will also receive 16 kg of rice.
· The United Nations estimates there are approximately 100,000 internally displaced persons in Timor-Leste.
· Of those, approximately 30,000 are in Dili and the rest reside in host families in the districts
· The next camp to be assisted to return will be Jardim, Sional and Hera Port

For more information please call Allison Cooper on +670 7230453 or Hipolito Gama on 7311839