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East Timor: ICRC relief sent to Dili

02-09-1999 News Release 99/36

In an effort to deal with any contingency following the UN-sponsored ballot held in East Timor on 30 August, the ICRC's Jakarta delegation has dispatched a shipload of food and other relief supplies to the territory. The consignment contains blankets, sarongs, water containers, plastic sheeting, tarpaulins, cooking utensils and other household and personal hygiene items for around 50,000 persons. The food (sugar, rice, salt, green beans and cooking oil) is enough to feed 10,000 people for two weeks.

Following the vote, the ICRC facilitated the transfer to Catholic missions of several hundred newly displaced people from the police stations to which they had fled. Delegates provided them with food and other aid. It is estimated that the events in the run-up to the vote forced over 1,200 people to flee into West Timor. Since the beginning of this year, the ICRC has supplied 10,000 displaced persons with non-food relief. Some 20,000 people have received basic medical care.

The ICRC currently has 11 delegates in East Timor and another in West Timor, who is part of a rapid response team operated jointly by the Geneva-based organization and the Indonesian Red Cross Society.