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UNTAET Humanitarian Pillar Situation Report 16 to 17 Mar 2000

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Returns: The total number of organised and spontaneous returns into East Timor from West Timor, other parts of Indonesia, Macau and Australia now stands at 152,763 persons. On 16 March, 296 persons were transported by IOM to Lospalos. On 17 March, a total of 243 persons crossed on IOM-chartered trucks into East Timor at Batugade from Atambua. Secondary transportation was provided by IOM for 21 persons to Manatuto, 10 to Aileu, 10 to Same, five to Ainaro and one to Maliana.
Shelter: Under the UNHCR shelter programme distribution of buildings materials continues in 10 of the 13 Districts. A barge carrying 1, 500 house kits is currently being unloaded in Suai, for distribution in Covalima District by TIMOR AID. At Dili port, another ship is currently unloading 800 MTs of cement. This ship will then proceed to the port of Com in the north, to unload another 150 MTs of cement. To date, 1,061 shelter kits have been distributed in Lautem District, 63 in Baucau, 383 in Aileu, 366 in Oecussi, 965 in Liquica, 447 in Manatuto, 74 in Ermera, 68 in Dili, 39 in Manufahi, and 104 in Ainaro District. Of the total number of 3,570 shelter kits distributed, 681 beneficiaries have completed construction of their shelters.

Under its shelter programme, CARE has assisted with the rehabilitation of some 631 houses in Covalima District and expects an additional 360 shelter kits to arrive by road convoy from Kupang next week. In addition, some 500 MTs of shelter materials will be arriving in East Timor for CARE from Surabaya.

The NGO World Vision has begun with the distribution of shelter materials on 16 March under its newly established shelter programme. Some 550 roofing kits have been pre-positioned for distribution in Bobonaro sub-district and Lolotoi sub-district and 600 roofing kits in Letefoho in Ermera District. It is WORLD VISION's objective to assist the East Timorese population with the rehabilitation and reconstruction of some 9,000 shelters by the end of June 2000.

The ICRC has completed the construction of 1,122 temporary shelters, and will commence a programme of more permanent shelters in Bobonaro, Covalima and Ermera Districts in April.

Education: To supplement, UNICEF's education programme, the NGO CONCERN has just received another shipment of education and recreational materials. They consist of 1,000 volleyballs and nets, 1,000 soccer balls, 750 basketballs and rims, 384 pumps, 45,000 exercise books, 45,000 pens, 400 blackboards, 260 cartons of white and coloured chalk and 200 guitars. The items will be distributed in Covalima, Ermera, Ainaro and Aileu Districts. The first consignment of materials was distributed in Aileu on 17 March. Distribution of all materials is expected to be completed by mid-April.

Health: One more case of dengue haemorrhagic fever has been reported to WHO from the Tokobaru Hospital in Dili. The child is a 3-year-old boy. He was admitted with haematemesis and a positive dengue serology test confirmed the disease on March 13. He is a resident of Bairro Kuluhun in Dili. OXFAM immediately sent its community mobilisers to rid the little boy's neighbourhood of open water sources. Training and Education efforts on the dangers of dengue fever and malaria in schools continue to be promoted by WHO and the health NGO MERLIN.

US Navy seabees have begun repairs on the first of the primary schools in their rehabilitation programme in Dili town.

The director for the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in Darwin provided information to WHO on cases of dengue and malaria seen in Darwin among people arriving there from East Timor. Since September 1999, the CDC has received 56 reports of dengue and 26 of malaria.

In Manatuto, the UNTAET Peace Keeping Force (PKF) Philippine battalion has been providing assistance in the health sector through its 12 doctors, 12 nurses and 10 dentists. At the end of March, this number will be reduced to five doctors, five nurses and four dentists. The health NGO AMI, active in the Manatuto area, has requested the assistance of PKF to station one doctor and one nurse each in Soibada and Natarbora. Also in Manatuto, a building for the interim health department has been identified. The building will accommodate a health office and a central pharmacy.