Education: In an effort to establish a child friendly space in the Ambeno enclave, UNICEF on 22 March made a first delivery of recreational materials comprising footballs, soccer shirts, whistles and pumps to a youth group in Oecusse town.
The total number of primary schools registered by UNICEF now stands at 686. Some 147,154 students are being taught by 6,393 teacher across East Timor. Primary school enrolment has reached 92 per cent of 1998/99 figures. UNICEF and its implementing partners have delivered and distributed some 250 MTs of roofing materials for primary schools across the country. Schools have been rehabilitated with the efforts of local communities, INTERFET, the UNTAET Peace Keeping Force (PKF) and the US Navy. It is envisaged that these materials will suffice to rehabilitate approximately primary schools.
Reproductive Health: Reproductive
health has been a prominent sector in East Timor with regard to the
provision of emergency services as well as cooperation and policy
development. Beginning in October 1999, emergency supplies including
safe home and safe clinical delivery kits were procured by UNFPA and distributed
by UNICEF to a large number of NGO and Church health facilities. The
reproductive health needs of the East Timorese were carefully considered
and addressed during the emergency phase. In November 1999,
IRC initiated the establishment of the Reproductive Health Working
Group (RHWG), which is co-facilitated by IRC and UNFPA. Participating
members include the Interim Health Authority (IHA), UNICEF, WHO,
MSF (Belgium and Holland), MDM-France, AMI (France and Portugal), HAI,
PKO, The Australian Mission, ICRC, the UNTAET Gender Unit, the Portuguese
Mission and others. In December 1999, the RHWG commemorated World
AIDS Day with a concert and information distribution in Dili's central
market. It also began developing a monthly reporting form of indicators
of reproductive health status that is being used by current health care
providers across the country. The Interim Health Authority will adopt
this as the sentinel monthly reporting form and will take over the
collection and analysis of data. The most recent initiative
of the RHWG has been the implementation of a public health campaign
addressing the issues of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases. The RHWG
has been supported by the Interim Health Authority and will serve
in an advisory capacity role to the National
Reproductive Health Programme in the Interim Health Authority.
Food: On 22 March WFP land convoys moved 25 MTs of food to Bobonaro District. An additional 25 MTs will be transported on trucks to Bobonaro District on 24 March. On 17 March, WFP conducted a food security assessment mission to Atauro Island. Some 9 MTs of food were delivered to the most vulnerable groups of persons on the island. On 22 March, WFP helicopter operations were conducted with 20 MTs of food transported for delivery in Bobonaro District, particularly to the hard to access Lolotoi sub-district. On 23 March, an additional 40 MTs will be transported by WFP helicopter to Lolotoi sub-district. The WFP chartered "ET Carrier" contract has been discontinued in an effort to encourage commercial operations. WFP is currently completing negotiations with commercial shipping companies for future food deliveries to Suai, Betano and the Ambeno enclave.
Agriculture: FAO on 21 March conducted a rapid assessment of the crop situation in Liquica District. The District before the September 1999 violence used to have a population of 55,000. Liquica like Ermera District was a major coffee producer. The District can be divided into two types of production zones: The highlands where the main agricultural activity is coffee production and the lowlands where maize is cultivated widely, while rice is cultivated only in Maubara sub-district. In November 1999, only 40 per cent of the original population were reported to be present in Liquica District. This low and late return affected maize production when many fields were planted too late and will consequently have a low yield. It is anticipated that there will be a satisfactory yield for cassava, pulses and bananas. Green coffee stored at family level as well as the current coffee crop (harvest from April to July) was not affected by the events of September 1999. The main problem encountered presently by coffee planters is the reliance on incomes generated by coffee marketing to complement household production. Coffee marketing is being encouraged through the USAID/NCBA project.
In the lowlands, the maize crop is expected to be very poor due to late sowing. Rice is only cultivated in Maubara sub-district (the perimeter of Loes, 400 ha, which needs rehabilitation (weeding and cleaning of canals) and Faularan perimeter 300 ha). The normal planting time is January and due to late return, shortage of manpower and tractors, many rice fields are not yet planted. If mechanical means are made available, the rice campaign can still take place.