There is a continuing need to return up
to 110,000 displaced persons in West Timor to their communities of origin
in East Timor, in order for rehabilitation, reconstruction and development
to begin. The safe and orderly return transportation of displaced persons
is the responsibility of IOM by agreement and in close co-operation with
IOM's Director General visited the region from 22 -28 January. He began his journey by visiting IOM operations in Kupang and Atambua, West Timor and then drove overland to Dili where he was able to meet with UNTAET, CNRT, donor representatives and other UN agency partners. Before returning to Geneva, he met with top government officials in Jakarta.
Over the last four days, IOM has helped a total of 498 displaced East Timorese to return home from West Timor. IOM also provided onward transport to towns and villages inside East Timor for another 277 people.
On 1 February, IOM used a fleet of four-wheel drive vehicles to assist returnees to Viqueque, a seven-hour drive from capital, Dili. Roads to this location have deteriorated due to the rainy season.
As of 1 February, IOM has organised the return by land, sea and air of 84,393 East Timorese from West Timor, from other parts of Indonesia and from Australia. Over the last three months, more than 135,000 refugees have returned voluntarily in an organized or spontaneous way to East Timor.
Total returns by land
To date, IOM has returned 39,267 East Timorese by land from West Timor.
Total returns by sea
To date, IOM has returned 32,621 East Timorese by sea from West Timor and from other parts of Indonesia
Total returns by air
To date, IOM has returned 7,793 East Timorese from Kupang to Dili and 3,912 from other parts of Indonesia. A total of 921 East Timorese have so far been returned by IOM from Australia.
IOM has received support from the international community to fund its Timor activities. Portugal, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, Japan and ECHO financed IOM's return movements to East Timor totalling US$ 13,710,988.
Now that the emergency phase is beginning to wind down, efforts are shifting toward post-conflict rehabilitation through a range of interrelated projects such as the return of qualified nationals, reintegration of ex-combatants, mobile information and referral services, community based rehabilitation and migration management capacity building. These activities form an integral part of the international humanitarian communities' response to the crisis.
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