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UNTAET Humanitarian Pillar Situation Report: East Timor Crisis 11-13 Dec 1999

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General: With the number of inaccessible villages growing as a result of deteriorating road conditions, coupled with the arrival of large tonnages of shelter materials tomorrow and extending over the next few months that will further tax the road network in East Timor, a multi-agency meeting was convened to focus attention on road conditions and remedial measures. Discussions evolved from a commentary on the history of East Timorese road construction to a briefing by INTERFET of the military's current road maintenance operations to an exchange of views on the impact of humanitarian assistance activities on the country's road system. Several conclusions were agreed that will preserve the importance and priority of relief operations while diminishing the negative impact of those operations on local road networks and enhancing the safety of local communities. Weight restrictions for specific routes will be identified, a system of road hazard/damage reporting introduced, and a forum agreed for the principal road-using agencies to identify and institute control and damage-limiting measures. Local communities will be encouraged and supported in clearing drainage systems, pot-hole repair, and other minor road maintenance activities.
Returns: On 11 December, 75 persons returned by air from Kupang to Dili. By road, 272 returned from Atambua to Batugade and 38 from Atambua to Suai. From Betun to Suai, 405 persons returned by truck. In Oekussi, 130 returnees crossed through Bobometo, 2 through Wini and 152 through Passabe. In secondary movements, 50 returnees travelled from Batugade to Dili and 19 to Liquica. 132 returnees were moved by Mi-8 helicopter from Dili to Same, and 58 to Atsabe. On 12 December, an IOM-chartered ferry transported 102 returnees from Kupang to Dili. In secondary movements, 18 returnees
moved from Dili to Manatuto, 30 to Aileu, and 73 to Ainaro. Today, eight trucks carried returnees from Atambua to Batugade in an IOM-organised convoy, and in a secondary movement 29 persons travelled from Dili to Manatuto. With the dedicated support of the INTERFET Civil Military Operations Centre (CMOC), the number of returnees awaiting secondary movement in Dili has been kept manageable. Currently, 230 persons remain at the Don Bosco transit centre in Dili awaiting secondary movement to Baucau, Los Palos, Viqueque and Ermera. The total number of returnees to East Timor is now 116,566.

Logistics: Today marks a milestone in WFP helicopter operations with a cumulative 1,000 MTs of food and shelter material delivered to villages throughout East Timor. Additionally, 1,500 passengers have also been transported and 10 medevac missions completed by the WFP helicopter. Today, the WFP helicopter delivered 17 MTs of food stuffs to the village of Fatululik in Suai district and 6.6 MTs to Samara in Ermera district. With road conditions deteriorating as the rainy season advances, demands for helicopter lift are expected to increase. In land movements today, WFP trucks carried 30
MT of food to Maliana, 15 MT to Manatuto, and 15 MT to Liquica.

Shelter: The first shipment of shelter materials, principally cement, timber and nails, will arrive in Dili on 14 December. To reduce the impact on deteriorating roads, some materials will be moved by barges to landings at Suai, Com, Betano, and Oekussi for onward movement to distribution points.

Seeds: A UHP team travelled to Aileu to brief Falintil leaders on the corn seed distribution program, including technical detail on seed type and propagation. As several villagers in Aileu district had become ill after consuming rice seed intended for planting, attention was drawn by the team to earlier UN/NGO advice and the safety warnings on seed packages.

Health: WHO's weekly report (Week 48) noted that the measles outbreak continues with 16 cases reported in Ermera and 8 in Dili. In the 48 health facilities, 68 percent of the consultations concerned communicable diseases, with the commonest being suspected malaria and other fevers (35 percent).

West Timor: In Belu district, approximately 17,000 refugees are assessed as located in flood-prone areas. The southern areas of the district suffer serious flooding annually, and Indonesian local authorities have been requested by UN agencies to consider moving refugees to higher ground.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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