Over the last three days, IOM has helped a total of 2,257 displaced East Timorese to return home from West Timor. On Friday 11 February, an IOM land convoy repatriated 761 people from the West Timor city of Atambua to the border town of Batugade. IOM also arranged for 51 returnees to travel by Interfet helicopter from Dili to the Eastern city of Los Palos. Another 13 travelled on IOM trucks from Maubisse to Maulba. On 10 February, 142 people from Atambua crossed the border at Batugade in IOM trucks. Another 249 were repatriated from Betun in West Timor to the southern city of Suai. An IOM bus also transported 15 people from Dili to Maubisse. On Wednesday 9 February, a land convoy repatriated 1,080 people from Atambua to Batugade. Another 25 flew into Dili from Darwin on two IOM-chartered aircraft. As of 12 February, IOM has organised the return by land, sea and air of 88,631 East Timorese from West Timor, from other parts of Indonesia and from Australia. The total number of returnees now stand at 138,304.
Tomorrow, Saturday 12 February, the IOM-operated ship, Patricia Anne Hotung, will arrive in Dili from Kupang carrying 267 returnees. Tomorrow, IOM trucks will again provide shuttle services to transport people attending the weekly open day at the Motaain-Batugade border. The event , staged on the beach in Motaain, is designed to improve cross-border information about conditions in East Timor by bringing together families and friends split by the conflict.
Total returns by land
To date, IOM has returned 42,910 East Timorese by land from West Timor.
Total returns by sea
To date, IOM has returned 33,070 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 3,937 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 winding down, efforts are concentrated on post-conflict rehabilitation through a range of interrelated projects such as the return of qualified nationals, reintegration of demobilized 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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