There is an urgent need to return East
Timorese displaced from West Timor and elsewhere in Indonesia to their
communities of origin in order for rehabilitation, reconstruction and development
to begin as quickly as possible. The safe and orderly return transportation
of displaced persons is the responsibility of IOM by agreement and in close
cooperation with UNHCR.
* Returns by land resume.
Today, IOM assisted 583 people back to East Timor. In the Atambua region, IOM and UNHCR teams successfully "extracted" 348 refugees from Haliwen, a notorious militia-run camp where several thousand people are still in need of transport assistance. The convoy consisting of 13 IOM leased trucks was escorted by the Indonesian military to the Motaain border crossing before arriving safely in Batugade.
A second IOM convoy was organized today to transport 235 returnees from Betun to Suai.
On 4 December, IOM provided transport assistance to 243 people who were picked up from several locations in and around Betun (Kletek, Waelaus, Kota Bot and Hali Bot)
* Returns by air from Australia resume.
Today, an IOM chartered Kampuchean L1011 flew from Melbourne to Dili with 290 East Timorese on board. On 4 December, another L1011 flew from Perth to Dili with 213 East Timorese on board. A first group of 254 people were returned from Australia between 28 October and 11 November. They are part are a larger group of some 1,500 people who had been evacuated from the UNAMET compound in Dili in September.
* Returns by sea continue.
An IOM chartered ferry left Kupang today with 336 returnees on board. It is scheduled to arrive in Dili on 7 December.
* As of 6 December, IOM has organized the return by land, sea and air
of 63,022 East Timorese from West Timor, from Indonesia and from Australia. So far, some 115,000 people have returned in an organized or in a spontaneous way to East Timor.
Total returns by land
* To date, IOM has returned 23,166 East Timorese by land from West Timor.
Total returns by sea.
* To date, IOM has returned 28,490 East Timorese by sea from West Timor and from other parts of Indonesia
Total returns by air
* To date, IOM has returned 6,937 East Timorese from Kupang to Dili and 3,672 from other parts of Indonesia.
* A total of 757 East Timorese have so far been returned by IOM from Darwin to Dili.
* IOM has made an appeal to the international community for US$25,565,000 for its Timor activities. This includes US$ 23,250,000 for the return assistance of displaced people to East Timor. IOM urgently needs an estimated US$ 12,250,000 to cover the cost of operations until the end of the year. So far, Portugal, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Germany and the Netherlands have pledged a total of $ 6,153,315.
IOM currently faces a shortfall of US$ 6,096,685
* Return assistance to displaced East Timorese remains IOM's priority.
However, now that some 115,000 people have returned, there is an urgent need to rehabilitate and re-establish East Timor's devastated infrastructure and economy. IOM's mid- to long-term plans are to implement programmes in the areas of return of qualified nationals, migration management capacity building, reintegration of demobilized combatants and mobile information and referral services. IOM's projects are part of the Inter Agency Appeal for East Timor. Initial funding for the first phase requires a total budget of US$ 2,315,000. So far, IOM has received no pledges for planned mid to long-term activities.