Donors pledge $522 million for East Timor

Highlights of the Noon Briefing
By Fred Eckhard
Spokesman for the Secretary-General
UN Headquarters, New York
The donor meeting on East Timor ended in Tokyo today with pledges of $522.43 million, over two-thirds of which was for reconstruction and development.

The UN Transitional Administrator in East Timor, Sergio Vieira de Mello, said, "Today is a heartening development and a message of hope for the people of Timor and those who are there to serve them until independence."

For the first time, he said, donors were given a joint presentation by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United Nations and the East Timorese of the overall needs for East Timor. He pledged to continue what he called "this close and exemplary partnership."

In East Timor, the number of returns by East Timorese from West Timor has once again risen above 1,000 a day, and the total number is now estimated at more than 118,000.

The Security Council will hold an open briefing on East Timor next Wednesday.