UNITED NATIONS CALLS FOR NEARLY $19 MILLION IN AID FOR TIMOR-LESTE

IHA/1204
12 June 2006

UNITED NATIONS CALLS FOR NEARLY $19 MILLION IN AID FOR TIMOR-LESTE

12 June 2006
Press Release
IHA/1204
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

UNITED NATIONS CALLS FOR NEARLY $19 MILLION IN AID FOR TIMOR-LESTE

 


NEW YORK, 12 June (OCHA) -- The United Nations today launched a flash appeal requesting some $18.9 million for humanitarian assistance to Timor-Leste, where an estimated 133,000 people have been displaced by the violence that has beset the country, particularly the capital, Dili, in recent weeks.


“Those who have been displaced by the deplorable violence of the past weeks need our help,” said Jan Egeland, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.  “The United Nations has been working with the Timorese since before independence, we must now provide for those who fear harm may befall them.”


Assessments by the United Nations and partners have identified 55 locations, in and around Dili, currently hosting close to 70,000 internally displaced persons.  Additionally, an estimated 63,000 people have fled to the countryside, placing strain on scarce resources and food.  The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) plans to facilitate inter-agency assessment missions to the district regions to ascertain the condition and most urgent needs of those displaced.


The United Nations agencies and their non-governmental partners, which were already providing long-term development assistance in Timor-Leste, have been able to respond to the sudden crisis on a short-term basis.  However, with the situation not yet resolved, the appeal aims to fund humanitarian work over the next three months.


At a visit to an internally displaced person’s camp on Monday, United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator Finn Reske-Nielsen witnessed the conditions.  “With overcrowding and poor sanitation, life in the camps is extremely difficult, especially for women and children.  The funds received in response to this appeal will allow us to continue to meet basic needs, prevent the spread of disease, provide shelter and give some relief to the affected population,” he said.


With funds raised through the appeal, the World Food Programme (WFP) and its partners will provide food to internally displaced persons and affected communities, while the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and partners will improve shelter and provide non-food relief.  The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) will expand their work in child protection and preventing gender-based violence.  Conflict resolution through short-term job creation is planned by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Labour Organization (ILO).


UNICEF plans to work with the Ministry of Health to immunize young children against measles and to provide them with vitamin-A supplements.  The World Health Organization (WHO) will provide medicines and other health supplies, while UNICEF and UNFPA are to increase assistance for maternal health.  WHO and UNHCR will continue work with the Ministry of Health to establish an emergency health surveillance system and to improve preparedness to respond to emerging threats.  UNICEF and its partners will also continue to provide clean drinking water and sanitation to the displaced.  Additional support for logistics, coordination and communications will be provided by OCHA, UNDP and IOM.


Against the $18.9 million called for in the appeal, OCHA has allocated approximately $4.1 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) grant facility to IOM, UNICEF, UNHCR and WFP.


For further information, please call:  Stephanie Bunker, OCHA-New York, +1 917 367 5126, mobile +1 917 892 1679; Kristen Knutson, OCHA-New York, +1 917 367 9262; Elisabeth Byrs, OCHA-Geneva, +41 22 917 2653, mobile, +41 79 473 4570.  OCHA press releases are available at http://ochaonline.un.org or www.reliefweb.int.


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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.