Returns: As of 8 March, some 149, 563 persons have repatriated to East Timor in an organized manner from West Timor, other parts of Indonesia and Australia. On 7 March, a total of 35 persons were returned from Atambua to Batugade on IOM chartered trucks. Another 83 returnees arrived in Dili aboard a flight from the South Kalimantan city of Banjarmasin. Secondary movements from Dili included 133 persons to Aileu, 92 persons to Maubisse, 50 persons to Viqueque and 10 persons to Manatuto. On 8 March a total of 95 persons returned from Atambua to Batugade on IOM-chartered trucks. Another 90 persons returned to Dili from Jakarta aboard an IOM-chartered plane. Secondary transportation was provided for 19 persons travelling to Baucau and for one person travelling to Liquica from the Transit Centre in Dili.
Capacity Building: Under the recently established IOM Return of Qualified Nationals Programme (RQN), a total of 300 East Timorese Nationals will be assisted over the next three years with employment and return to East Timor from abroad. The aim is to fill positions in the public and private sectors, which cannot be filled local human resources. IOM is currently liaising in East Timor with local employers including CISPE (Civil Services and Public Employment) to identify job vacancies. Through its network of offices in Australia, Hong Kong (covering Macau), Portugal and Indonesia IOM is liasing with East Timorese organisations abroad, distributing information details on the assistance the programme will provide. Candidates, who can be matched with available job offers, following approval for placement under the programme, will be assisted to return with their families. Upon return of the candidate, employers will be provided with a salary subsidy and job-related equipment materials. So far, one candidate has returned under the programme from Australia and has been placed as the operations coordinator for Timor Aid. An additional 14 job offers have been received by IOM from CISPE. These job offers have been sent to IOM offices abroad and are also published on IOM's website www.iom.int.
Project Management/Local Capacity Building: The United Nations Office of Project Services (UNOPS) opened an office in Dili on 1 March. The UNOPS office in Kuala Lumpur will support the office, which is a regional office with 60 staff with strong technical expertise in areas such as rural development, agriculture and governance. UNOPS offers project formulation, project management and implementation and project monitoring services to UN agencies, international financial institutions, governments and donors. In East Timor, UNOPS expects to work closely with UN agencies, UNTAET, CNRT, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Portuguese Government and others, offering procurement services and human resource management and training. During a number of missions in the autumn of 1999, UNOPS developed projects in agriculture, water and sanitation and procurement for East Timor. Projects that are to be funded out of the various trust funds for East Timor all focus on bottom-up planning and participatory methodologies. This approach will build strong national capacity at the village; sub-district and district level, and hence develop a strong ownership amongst the East Timorese, which is a requirement for successful implementation and sustainability. Projects are designed to show initial results during the first quarter of implementation.
Education: UNICEF and its partner organisations on 6 March distributed 1,000 iron sheets, 1,500 pieces of timber, 100 bags of cement and 250 kg of nails to the Viqueque area for the rehabilitation of school buildings.