Timor-Leste: Humanitarian update 12 Jul – 01 Aug 2008

Source: United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT); United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

The Humanitarian Update (HU) aims at providing a periodic analysis of current humanitarian issues, facts and policy developments in Timor-Leste with primary attention given to internally displaced people (IDPs). The HU is based on voluntary information inputs from UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes, NGO members of the Humanitarian Coordination Committee and other partners. It analyses information from a variety of sector coordination meetings involving Timorese authorities. The HU is coordinated and issued by the OCHA/UNMIT Integrated Humanitarian Coordination Team (IHCT), on a fortnightly basis. Contributions and comments can be sent to the OCHA/UMMIT IHCT in Dili, Focal Points:medhurst@un.org(mobile: +670 736 55 78) andhadin@un.org , (mobile +670 731 16 43).


• Petitioners:The Petitioners received US$ 8000 each and all have now left Aitarak Laren camp and returned to the Western Districts or Dili.

• Report of the Commission of Truth and Friendship (CTF): On 15 July, the CTF report was received by the Presidents of Indonesia and Timor-Leste in Bali. The report was tasked with finding the institutions responsible for the abuses committed during Timor-Leste’s struggle for Independence in 1999.

• International Day of Peace: On 29 July, media agencies in Timor-Leste participated in a joint press conference to raise awareness of the 100 Day Peace Campaign which will end on 21 September, the International Day of Peace. This year will commemorate the 60 year anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the United Nations as an annual observance of global non-violence and ceasefire.

• UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: On 28 July, Judge Navanethem Pillay of South Africa was appointed the new High Commissioner for Human Rights replacing Louise Arbour of Canada (whose five year term finished on the 30 June). Since 2003, Ms. Pillay has served as Judge on the International Criminal Court (ICC), based in The Hague, Netherlands.



• Monitoring the Right to Food in Quelicai sub-district, Baucau: The Ministry of Agriculture, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), UNMIT Human Rights and Transitional Justice Unit and the World Food Programme (WFP) conducted a fact finding mission to investigate the reported food shortages in Baucau district. Preliminary findings from this mission lead to number of actions on the part of the Government and other stakeholders being urgently required, such as:

– A more efficient distribution mechanism for Government-subsidised rice and;

– Food or Cash for Work programmes to improve access roads to villages and to support terracing, vegetable and chili cultivation and agro-forestry (e.g. the planting of fruit trees) in the short term and, support to boost the productivity of traditional crops such as cassava, sweet potatoes, maize, and upland rice cultivation in the long term.

Follow up rapid food security assessments in the areas that are most at risk are expected to be carried out soon.

• Rice Availability: Subsidised rice was not available in Baucau, Covalima and Oecussi markets during the reporting period and was available in only one market in Dili. It was reportedly sold at the same price as non-subsidised rice at US $1/kg for retail sale (in kilo) while it was sold for whole sale at 45 cents/kilo. In light of this, the subsidised rice sale scheme needs to be reviewed and improved.



Aside from the camp decommissioning activities mentioned below, the Water and Sanitation Working Group (WSWG) members continue with ongoing activities in the IDP Camps.

Camp decomissioning activities are ongoing in the following camps:

Sional Camp: The final phase of the decommissioning is ongoing and involves cleaning up the site.

Arte Moris: The rehabilitation work by Oxfam is ongoing and involves the rehabilitation of a damaged bathroom.

Police Academy: Final activities of the decommissioning process (site rehabilitation, cleaning of the sites and submission of letters of hand-over to land owners) are taking place.

Airport: A meeting on the decommissioning process was organised between IOM and UNICEF. Originally the decommissioning process for this camp was due to start in September.

Jardim: Plan International completed leveling works at the request of the District Administration Office. They also drained and capped all soak pits with the help of DNSAS. They removed prefabricated toilet structures and handed them over to DNSAS for use as they see fit.

Balide Seminario and Hera Port: Oxfam organised meetings with IOM and land-owners to discuss the decomissioning of these camps..


• The WSWG continues to develop an IDP Return WatSan Workshop that is conducted in every camp before it closes. These workshops have been developed with local partners and planned together to ensure consistency in implementation. The training aims to:

1) Reinforce participants’ knowledge on environmental health issues and how to keep a safe living environment;

2) Explain existing mechanisms existing outside the camp to get support from DNSAS for their water connections, through the distribution of leaflets and other hand-outs; and

3) Present various sanitary options adapted to Timor-Leste with necessary maintenance requirements and construction guidelines.

Workshops for IDPs return have been organised with HealthNet and DNSAS in Balide Seminario and Balide Iglesa.

• Metinaro Camp: Health Net, Plan International’s partner, has conducted introductory meetings and consultations in preparation for training and support it will provide to WatSan communities in Metinaro IDP camp.

• Ex-CRS: Plan and HealthNet conducted a pre-departure workshop for IDPs on water and sanitation issues in communities of return.


In the past three weeks, SLS and camp management agencies have assisted the Government in the preparations for the return and reintegration of IDPs from the Airport Camp and the return and reintegration of IDPs living at the former CRS office. Whilst the Airport Camp return and reintegration process has not yet begun, SLS agencies are continuing to work closely with the Government and organisations involved in the return and reintegration process to resolve as many problems as possible before the actual movement begins. As yet, no date for the movement to begin has been specified.

Whilst the return process is resulting in positive outcomes for many of those previously in the camps, it is not without challenges. SLS working group members remain committed to assisting the Government to minimise potential conflicts, displacement and tensions arising from the return process. In that regard SLS agencies work closely with MSS and the Konfiansa (Trust-building) Working Group3

members to ensure that the necessary preparatory and confidence building work between IDPs and communities takes place prior to returns.

The SLS working group commends the Government and MSS in particular for the strengthening of pre-movement weekly planning meetings. The Government is planning further return and reintegration activities in the coming weeks, in line with their effort to assist IDPs in Timor-Leste to find durable solutions to their displacement. SLS and camp management agencies will support upcoming return movements within the limitations of their mandates.



• Strengthening Early Recovery: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will soon launch a new project “Strengthening Early Recovery for Comprehensive and Sustainable Reintegration of IDPs (SERC)”. One aim of the project is to address social cohesion between host communities and returning IDPs in specific Sucos in Dili through a participatory planning process for a small infrastructure project. Funds for this component have been secured by the UNDP Crisis Prevention and Recovery Unit. Since UNDP considers coordination and cooperation with partners vital in this project, partners were asked to submit first suggestions regarding which Sucos in the sub-districts of Dili might need the most attention and which issues might need to be addressed. The project is still in its early consolidation period and further consolidation meetings with partners are planned.

• Asian Development Bank (ADB) Dili Water Supply Project: The non-revenue water section of the ADB project for Timor-Leste will look at reducing the amount of water produced by DNSAS that is not paid for. It will begin in three zones inside Bairo Pite, Kampung Alor and Tiabesse and will impact on IDPs who are returning to these areas.

• International Labour Organisation (ILO) Labour Intensive Programme: Four areas have been identified to pilot ILO’s labour intensive intervention in Dili, Becora, Mauk, Hera and Metinaro.


• MSS Dialogue Teams: The newly recruited members of the MSS Dialogue Teams have been successfully trained in a three day training and orientation workshop. During this workshop the Dialogue Teams participated in mediation and dialogue facilitation training sessions provided by national trainers. The Dialogue Teams, furthermore, were introduced to the challenges they will face during their dialogue facilitation work through a community dialogue role play, smaller role plays during the training sessions as well as presentations about land rights disputes and the role of the National Directorate of Land and Property. Partner organisations were invited to attend the training and given the opportunity to present their work to the participants. The MSS Dialogue Teams have now started working in their offices in Cristo Rei, Nain Feto, Vera Cruz, Dom Aleixo with the Metinaro team temporarily based at the MSS together with the Ministry team. The Dialogue Teams are already participating in dialogue facilitation and mediation in the preparation for the anticipated IDP return from the airport IDP camp. Further trainings in mediation and dialogue facilitation techniques for the team members will be provided and are planned to take place in August.

• Small Grants Scheme: The Hamutuk Hari’i Konfiansa Working Group (HHKWG) Project Review Group has received and discussed seven project proposals, which have been submitted to the Steering Committee for further discussion. The first meeting of the Steering Committee comprising representatives from MSS, UNDP and AusAid, with Austcare nominated as a HHK member/observer, met for the first time on 29 July. No final decision regarding the project applications has been taken yet. The proposals were well received and some organisations are being asked to provide some additional clarification for the Steering Committee’s consideration. A provisional date for the next Steering Committee meeting is 5 August. All applicant organisations will be informed about the Steering Committee’s decision as soon as possible.

Capacity Building Training: Mercy Corps and Timor Aid conducted Youth Suco Council Representatives Capacity Building Training in Dili from 7 18 July, as the beginning of the “Youth for All for Peace and Reconciliation in Timor Leste” (Y4A) Programme.
The training was attended by 29 Youth Suco Council Representatives (YSCRs), from 15 Suco of Dili. It was jointly conducted by INAP, Timor Aid and Mercy Corps. A similar training will be conduced in Suai (Covalima) for 30 YSCRs, from 28 July – 8 August.

The goal of this 18 month USAID funded pilot programme is to strengthen community level youth governance for peaceful change in two districts (Dili and Covalima) of Timor-Leste.

The programme has the following three major objectives:

1. Strengthen the ability of YSCRs to respond to priority youth and community issues;
2. Actively promote community action by the youth in response to priority issues;
3. The promotion of peace and reconciliation in their communities by the youth.

Becora Dialogue: Among the various dialogue activities that are taking place, one was held on 26 July in Becora. A representative group of young people, IDPs, community members and leaders of Becora community joined hands to end the past and forge a new future under the theme Problema ita nian, ita rasik rejolve (Solving our problems ourselves). The day-long dialogue culminated in the signing of a peace declaration. This landmark signing was the highlight of a series of activities which Austcare has initiated in Becora.

Austcare’s work in Becora is a replication of its Neighborhood Corners approach which was piloted in the Beto community through most of last year. The current project is a one-year initiative which also covers, in addition to Becora, the communities of Aimutin and Delta. The Irish Aid and the Refugee International-Japan (RIJ) are funding Austcare’s activities in these communities.


• On 16, 17 and 18 July approximately 40 familes moved out of Ex-CRS, EDTL and Elisabeth IDP camps.

• The verification of 290 IDP families in Seminario Balide is complete and MSS is currently planning socialisation activities. Movement out of this camp will commence shortly depending on the timing of movement out of Airport IDP Camp.

• The MSS, together with IOM and CRS have produced a card with useful contact numbers (including DNSAS, the Provedor’s Office and EDTL) that are issued to IDPs when they leave the camps.


• Marie Stopes International (Plan International’s partner), has now begun sexual and reproductive health peer sessions and training for youth in Becora Transitional Shelter. It will shortly expand these to Metinaro IDP camp and community.

• There are currently 107 Transitional Shelter (TS) Units available for households unwilling or unable to return home, from camps scheduled for closure, in inner Dili.

• With regard to service provision to TS sites, there have been no clinics or mobile clinics (except for in Tibar) for many months.

• Plan International continues their activities for children on weekdays which include visits from the mobile library.

• NRC continues to assist in the establishment of market gardens and vacated rooms in TS have undergone basic repair from the NRC maintenance teams.

• Specific information relating to TS can be summarised at thus:

Unital: The seven families / 47 individuals who claimed to have previously lived in the University classrooms at the TS Site have been issued with rooms; 48 vacancies remain.

Tibar: Despite a robust list of beneficiaries, the NRC Camp Management team estimates the population to be approximately 140 individuals, 70% children; there are 7 plus vacancies remaining.
Karantina: There are continued concerns relating to the scarcity of water at this site; there are 37 vacancies.

Tasi Tolu: The IDPs petitioned MSS to be included in the return and reintegration process sooner than the current list specifies citing the need to repair their houses before the wet season; 2 vacancies remain at this site.

Becora Market: Camp cleanup days haven been started with the assistance of Triangle and NRC, with a focus on malaria protection / drainage and basic sanitation; 22 vacancies remain.

NRC Protection staff remain on standby to assist with the move from Airport, as required including logistical support



HCC members agreed on 29 July, to meet in order to develop tools/methodologies to monitor post-return/resettlement of IDPs. The first meeting will take place on Wednesday 6 August.


• The WSWG is working alongside with DNSAS monitoring and technical team to respond effectively to requests from IDPs or groups of IDPs and communities from areas of return to fix problems of water connection. A sound monitoring system allows DNSAS to make assessments in various areas and, depending on the situation, build public taps for communities and IDPs, build new connections or fix broken pipes.

• Oxfam is investigating Community Lead Total Sanitation training (CLTS) options to provide to staff and local partner CPT (local NGO) to increase skills and understanding of the methodology that will be implemented in communities with high IDP returns.


• On 18 July, the Human Rights and Transitional Justice Section of UNMIT (HRTJS) provided technical advice to the ongoing development of the Housing Rights Network via its focal point NGO Forum Tau Matan. With support from the HRTJS and (the Centre On Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE), the NGO Forum expects the Statue of the Housing Rights Network to be signed by its 23 members in early August. The development of the Housing Rights Network will contribute to better monitoring and reporting on housing rights issues, particularly on forced evictions and secondary occupants. With a communication strategy in place, designed to target the rights of IDPs, the network aims to eventually target the general population and work towards holding public officials accountable for rights not being fulfilled. In the absence of a land and property rights law, the network also plans to work with government officials to help approve the much needed law.

• On 31 July, the Housing Rights Network with UNMIT support launched the brochure “Housing Rights for IDPs and All.” Representatives of 19 local and international NGOs attended the event.



The Quick Impact Projects (QIPs) Committee is currently seeking new projects to fund. QIPs projects are small-scale, rapidly implementable projects of benefit to the population that should not exceed US$ 25,000 in value, and should be implementable within three months. They can take a variety of forms, including limited infrastructure related projects, the provision of equipment, and short term employment-generating projects. Projects that meet the minimum criteria (including a realistic budget, and submission by a reputable organisation) will be considered by a project review committee, following an initial visit to the project site by a mission representative.

Projects meeting the above criteria are most welcome, especially from NGOs. Please do not hesitate to contact Radhika Padayachi (padayachi39@un.org ) for further details or submission of projects.


The Humanitarian Coordinator has called for an update of the Transitional Strategy and Appeal (TSA) in order to ensure that the projects included are still relevant, timely, and realistic within the 2008 timeframe. In the next two weeks, the Integrated Humanitarian Coordination Team (OCHA/IHCT) and UNDP will contact each organisation part of the TSA to review and update the projects.


(Source: Joint NGO Security Office)

The overall security situation in Timor Leste was quiet and generally calm, although tensions around IDP returns were noted.

10 16 JULY

According to UN statistics, there were 45 recorded incidents across Timor-Leste, which is more than the last reporting period (24) and above the average (approx 30). UN Police (UNPol) made 99 arrests.

• 10 11 July: Student demonstrations continued in Democracy Field although only a small number of protesters attended. In total, 52 students were arrested following their participation in the demonstrations; they were released after their various 72 hour detention periods were finished

• 15 July: The national weapons collections campaign, which consists of a public information campaign around the country, began and will last until 1 August. The campaign encourages persons to voluntarily hand in their weapons before the new weapons laws take effect. From 1 to 15 August, weapons will be collected, primarily at police stations but members of the public can hand weapons to any national or international security force in Timor-Leste. The weapons collected will be destroyed at a public ceremony on 30 August.

• F-FDTL troops are stationed in Ermera and Bobonaro districts and patrolling certain areas of Dili.

16 23 JULY

According to UN statistics, there were 44 recorded incidents across Timor-Leste, which is slightly less than the last reporting period (45) and above the average (approx 30). UNPol made 106 arrests.
The office of the Provedor of Human Rights announced that an investigation into the actions of the PNTL in response to the student demonstrations of 7 – 9 June will be conducted.

23 30 JULY

According to UN statistics, there were 47 recorded incidents across Timor-Leste, which is more than the last reporting period (44) and above the average (approx 30). UNPol made 63 arrests.



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