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UNAMET Daily Briefing, Oct. 1 1999

UNAMET Daily Briefing, Oct. 1 - food for 100,000 people

UNAMET Daily Press Briefing

1 October 1999- Darwin

Starting Monday 4 October, humanitarian agencies, in a joint effort, will begin the distribution of food assistance for 100,000 people. The distribution will take place at 6 distribution sites for 5 days and is being facilitated by local church groups. Heads of families will receive 50 kg of rice (30 days ration).

This is the first time a large-scale distribution of food assistance will be conducted since the evacuation of the international community. Also, ICRC,UNICEF, MSF, OXFAM and ACF will provide water and sanitation (pit latrines) during the 5 days of the general distribution.

There have also been smaller scale food distributions at the IDP camp located at the stadium in Dili, as well as the delivery of food by WFP and World Vision to IDPs in Dare, Remexio and in the surrounding Dili region. Yesterday, World Vision distributed 40 MT of food around the outskirts of Dili.

The convoy that travelled to Lospalos yesterday reports that between 20 to 30% of the population has returned to the main town. The humanitarian agencies provided relief aid to the IDPs. The hospital in Lospalos is intact, there are 4 local nurses; however, they have no medical supplies. 4 persons were successfully medically evacuated on a UNAMET helicopter from Baucau to Dili yesterday. In Dili, the patients were transferred on an ambulance provided by the Portuguese Civil Defence who transported the patients to the ICRC hospital and the Portuguese medical facilities. The convoy is on its way to Dili (as we speak). The team has picked up 10 additional trucks donated by the bishop in Baucau. The trucks will be loaded with WFP and UNHCR food stores and non-food items and will be transported back to Baucau, shortly.

UNICEF reports that 8 out of the 10 health facilities in Dili are fully functional, averaging between 20 to 180 patients per day. Using the registration data that is to be collected during next weekÆs general distribution, UNICEF, with the help of MSF, will launch a measles vaccination campaign for children under 5.

UNICEF's representative in Jakarta, Steve Woodhouse, has reached an agreement with the Indonesian Navy to support the transportation of humanitarian supplies to East and West Timor. Navy vessels will sail from Surabaya to Kupang in West Timor and also from Surabaya to Dili. The first vessel is due to carry about 50 MT of baby food.

Also from UNICEF, the agency has established an education task force in Dili. The task force will begin immediate assessments of the education sector looking into human resources, facilities and the reopening of the primary schools.

Ross Mountain returned early this morning to Dili.

On another note, the Catholic radio station began test broadcasts as Radio UNAMET. This is will enable the humanitarian agencies to support their future programmes in East Timor. Radio UNAMET will be up and running shortly.

A.Ali OCHA, Darwin (01.X.99)

END


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