Emergency Assistance to Solve the Problem of the East Timorese Refugees in West Timor
February 5, 2002
- On February 5 (Tue), the Government of Japan decided to extend emergency assistance (grant aid) of 5,386,000 dollars in total to the Republic of Indonesia to assist its efforts to solve the problem of the East Timorese refugees in West Timor (East Nusa Tenggara Province), Indonesia.
- The three projects of the Government of Indonesia to be covered by the grant aid and the amount of the assistance for each project, which will be used for the maintenance of refugee camps, repair of public sanitary facilities, supply of various health and medical services, promotion of re-settlement, etc., are as follows:
(1) Health and Community Services in Refugee Camps Project --- 3,396,000 dollars
(2) Camp Maintenance Project --- 1,350,000 dollars
(3) Shelter for Local Settlement Project --- 640,000 dollars
- Although the process toward independence and nation-building is currently under way in East Timor under the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), the turmoil in 1999, however, made approximately 290,000 residents flee into West Timor (East Nusa Tenggara Province), Indonesia. Though many of them returned to East Timor, approximately 80,000 refugees are still forced to live under camps in squalid hygienic conditions. The Government of Indonesia has been providing these refugees with such services as food, drinking water, various allowances, health and medical services, and education. The provision of these services is, however, causing a financial burden upon the government, which is working for the full-scale recovery of the economy. It announced therefore that it would terminate providing these services from January this year on, while promoting a policy in cooperation with international organizations to persuade approximately 60,000 refugees to return voluntarily to East Timor and resettle the remaining 20,000 people in East Nusa Tenggara Province within this year, with a view to solving the East Timorese refugees problem comprehensively.
Against this background, the Government of Indonesia and the United Nations issued a joint appeal at the end of November last year, asking the international community for humanitarian assistance in solving the East Timorese refugees problem in West Timor.
- In response to this appeal, the Government of Japan has decided to extend this aid especially for the efforts of the Government of Indonesia from a humanitarian standpoint. Mr. Junichiro Koizumi, Prime Minister of Japan, already mentioned this direct support plan to Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri when the PM visited Indonesia recently, and great expectation and appreciation was expressed in return.
- As aid for the East Timorese refugees, the Government of Japan has extended humanitarian aid of approximately 36 million dollars through the World Food Programme (WFP), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and others.
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