Timor-Leste: IDPs returning home, but to ongoing poverty and lack of access to basic services

Originally published


Two years after violent conflict erupted in Dili in May 2006, some of the 100,000 people who remained displaced in April 2008 have started returning home. About a third of these internally displaced people (IDPs) were in camps in the capital, and the rest with relatives and friends in the districts where they had sought refuge after the violence. However, perhaps 40,000 people have been unable to return, while others have struggled to rebuild their lives in return areas or transitional sites.

At the end of 2007, the government launched a new strategy to address the IDP issue within a broader national recovery programme. Hamutuk Hari'i Futuru (Together Building the Future) aims to get people back to their homes and help them reintegrate, while addressing the needs and rights of the wider community. While taking steps to close camps, the government in April 2008 started distributing recovery packages to IDPs willing to return. 16,000 families registered to take part, and more than half received the recovery package in the first six months, leaving between 35,000 and 40,000 people still displaced as of October 2008. (...)

Full Internal Displacement Profile

Timor-Leste country page