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Timor: $20.9m UNHCR appeal for East and West

Briefing notes

Timor: $20.9m UNHCR appeal for East and West

30 June 2000

UNHCR has issued an appeal to donors for $20.9 million for both East and West Timor for the remaining six months of this year. The appeal was announced at a donors meeting yesterday and distributed to diplomatic missions this morning. Last September, UNHCR requested $45.3 million to meet emergency needs related to the Timor crisis from 1 September 1999 to 30 June 2000. Of this amount, $16.4 million covered costs during the first six months of this year.

The new funding will be used to promote the continuing voluntary repatriation of East Timorese refugees, mainly in West Timor, to East Timor; assistance to refugees; and resettlement and reintegration projects in the two territories.

UNHCR stressed to donors that its ability to phase down activities in both East and West Timor significantly by mid-2001 will largely depend on the availability of funds to implement programmes fully in the second half of this year.

Some 165,000 East Timorese refugees have returned to East Timor since the UNHCR-IOM repatriation programme began in October. We hope to begin next week a registration of the remaining refugees - estimated at around 100,000 - in West Timor.

In Kupang yesterday, we submitted to the West Timor governor a package of measures to ensure security of aid workers in the camps. This includes increased presence of police and military in the camps and for police to take primary responsibility for camp security. We are awaiting a final approval of these measures from the governor, who has scheduled a meeting with refugee leaders on Monday. Depending on the outcome of this meeting, we hope to resume work in the three major camps in the Kupang area, which we suspended two weeks ago following incidents in which refugees and UNHCR staff were assaulted.