Today, IOM repatriated by air and land a total of 580 East Timorese. One land convoy from Atambua (WT) to Batugade (ET) took place, with IOM providing transportation to 363 East Timorese returnees. At the time of reporting a second convoy was expected to take place today. Another land convoy took place from the Betun (WT) area, with IOM providing transportation and assistance for 233 East Timorese who entered East Timor at the Salele border crossing point. Of this number 196 persons were provided with secondary transport to Ainaro and 37 to Cassa and Suai. A total of four IOM organised flights took place today. Two arrived from Kupang to Dili with a total of 175 East Timorese returnees. Another two flights arrived in Dili from Sydney via Darwin with a total of 42 East Timorese returnees. IOM also provided secondary transportation for 69 East Timorese from Dili to Atsabe. Finally, IOM provided transportation and assistance for100 orphans who arrived in Dili from Baucau by ship.
As of 22 December, IOM has organised the return by land, sea and air of 71,898 East Timorese from West Timor, from other parts of Indonesia and from Australia. So far, close to 120,000 people have returned in an organised way to East Timor.
Total returns by land
To date, IOM has returned 30,244 East Timorese by land from West Timor.
Total returns by sea
To date, IOM has returned 29,309 East Timorese by sea from West Timor and from other parts of Indonesia
Total returns by air
To date, IOM has returned 7,622 East Timorese from Kupang to Dili and 3,912 from other parts of Indonesia.
A total of 813 East Timorese have so far been returned by IOM from Australia.
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. So far a total of US$6,678,525 have been pledged by Portugal, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Germany, the Netherlands and ECHO. IOM currently faces a shortfall of US$18,886,481.
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