Agencies currently supporting civil service staff have been informed that stipends for the month of January will be shortly distributed. Agencies have been asked to provide staffing lists using the new stipend schedule developed by UNTAET.
As part of on-going demobilisation efforts, Falintil members have requested that civilian clothing be provided to approximately 1,100 men currently in uniform. Several humanitarian agencies will provide the clothing which will be transported to the Aileu cantonment by IOM.
Oekussi: Agencies continue to be concerned about humanitarian conditions in the Ambeno enclave which remains one of the most severely damaged and underserviced districts in East Timor. Assistance programmes have been paralysed during the past several weeks due to inadequate access. Humanitarian staff, including medical and other essential personnel, have been unable to reach the enclave on UNTAET transport.
Rapid assessments indicate that pressing needs exist throughout the enclave, particularly in areas where a large percentage of crops were destroyed. The Pillar is establishing a working group aimed at increasing the level of assistance. Special efforts will be made to encourage NGOs to launch programmes in key sectors, including health, water and sanitation and agriculture.
Security: Three incursions by militia into the Ambeno enclave have occurred during the past three days. Two incidents occurred near the crossing-point of Passabe and one near Mahata. Fire was exchanged between militia and INTERFET forces on two occasions. One militia and two East Timorese have been wounded during these exchanges.
A riot occurred today near the Dili Cathedral. Senior CNRT officials addressed the crowd, calling for calm. The reasons for the disturbance remain unclear.
Returns: On 17 January, 53 refugees were transported by IOM from Dili to Gleno as part of a secondary movement. A local crowd harassed ten of the returnees, reputedly formers member of the police. The next day, INTERFET, UNHCR, IOM and the Civilian Police transported the ten returnees by convoy to Ermera, their final destination. Hostile groups attacked the convoy. In order to protect the group, eight of the returnees were transported back to Dili. The group remains in the transit centre.
On 18 January, 57 returnees were transported on IOM-chartered trucks from Atambua to Batugade. In secondary movements, 117 persons were transported to Los Palos, 15 to Maubisse and 15 to Ainaro. One IOM- chartered flight arrived in Dili from Darwin on 19 January carrying 11 returnees. No organised crossings occurred on 19 January. The numbers of refugees returning to East Timor may have been negatively affected this week by adverse security reports regarding reception of returnees. Currently, 246 persons await onward movement at the Dili transit centre. The majority require transport to Los Palos, Same and Baucau. The total number of returnees is now 130, 094.
Logistics: WFP despatched 20.2 MTs of food commodities by air on 18 January. WFP also moved 200 MTs of rice by barge. An additional 71 MTs of food was sent to outlying areas by road convoy. The WFP helicopter was grounded on 19 January due to poor weather. CARE completed off-loading of 3,000 MTs of rice at the Dili harbour today.
Health: The joint working group of Timorese and international health professionals is currently conducting an assessment of health care needs and conditions in all thirteen districts. Teams are collecting data on existing facilities, the number of former workers, and present services. The aim of the assessment is to lay the groundwork for a national health care system. A health care workplan for 2000, outlining top priorities, was recently finalised and presented by the joint working group to the UNTAET Administrator.
Education: A vessel carrying timber for school reconstruction arrived in Dili today. UNICEF immediately despatched the material to Manatuto where the Philippine Interfet contingent will assist with the repair of schools in that area. As part of on-going efforts to support the education sector, UNICEF is continuing to pay stipends to more than 4,000 primary teachers.