There are currently 314 persons awaiting secondary transportation from Dili's Carantina's processing centre to Ermera, Los Palos, Viqueque and Baucau. The total number of returns from West Timor, other parts of Indonesia and Australia now stands at 141,045. With recent indications of a modest rise in daily influxes, HCR, IOM and implementing partners are meeting 17 February to ensure increased response capacities should they be needed.
Shelter: Some 65 MTs of UNHCR shelter materials were flown by INTERFET helicopter to Betano today. Under the UNHCR shelter programme, shelter materials such as roofing iron, timber, tools and cement for some 4,000 units have been received in Dili and Com from Surabaya. Materials have been distributed across the country by UNHCR's eight implementing partners, Goal, Timor Aid, Peace Winds Japan, Action Contre La Faim (ACF), Concern, IRC, CCF, Concern and SCF-US. In addition, ICRC under its shelter programme has completed the construction/reconstruction of more than 1,122 houses in Bobonaro, Ermera, Aileu, Liquica and Dili. CARE has rehabilitated more than 470 houses in Covalima District.
Health: An UNTAET sponsored two-day long seminar on health service provision in East Timor began in Dili on 15 February. The seminar, attended by national and international health care providers, aims to produce a concrete assessment of the current health situation in East Timor and identify immediate, medium and long-term needs for the country's fledgling health service. A recent month long assessment mission conducted by a joint team of Timorese and international health professionals working group identified 105 health facilities providing various levels of medical care across East Timor. The assessment also presented the urgent need for drugs, medical equipment and qualified health care providers, ranging from general practitioners, to surgeons, nurses, laboratory technicians, etc.
Water and Sanitation: UNTAET has identified Timorese nationals who will be trained as water technicians by OXFAM. UNICEF has donated a mobile water testing laboratory kit to the programme.
Water and Sanitation assessments in Bobonaro and Covalima have been completed by OXFAM. Plans are under way for an assessment mission into the Ambeno enclave in early March.
Logistics: A total of 14.22 MTs of maize, oil, beans, rice, seed and tools were delivered with the WFP helicopter on 15 February to Oecusse. On 16 February, a total of 30.2 MTs of maize, beans and salt were delivered by helicopter to Ermera. WFP trucks transported 78 MTs of rice, oil, beans and maize to Maliana and Maubisse on 15 February and 75 MTs of beans and maize to Aileu and Maliana on 16 February.
Agriculture: The rice seed procurement operation, which began in December 1999, was deemed a success by FAO, WFP and its NGO implementing partners CARE, Caritas, CRS, World Vision, Oikos and German Agro Action (GAA). Initial estimates of rice seed needs in deficit regions were marked at 200 MTs. However, over 300 MTs were procured and exchanged across the country by mid-February.
As the humanitarian agencies continue with targeted food distributions, special emphasis is made by a number of NGOs, such as World Vision, Caritas, and Action Contre La Faim, to focus their long-term agriculture programmes on improving food security for returnees and vulnerable families by increasing food production. World Vision is currently distributing vegetable seed and 2000 tool packs in the Aileu region. Through its 18 extension workers, World Vision is conducting a food security and nutrition baseline survey. Caritas is also planning on conducting a food security review in the near future in Oecusse. Action Contre La Faim (ACF) has completed its extensive food security survey covering Los Palos, Viqueque, Natarbora, Manatuto, Aileu, Ermera, Maliana and Ainaro. ACF has plans to implement integrated programmes such as home gardening, which support household economies and consumption as well as the development of efforts to combat deforestation and erosion by establishing fruit and forest tree nurseries.