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East Timor - Special report on Dili hospital

22-10-2002 Report

This Special Report looks back on the ICRC's operation and activities in East Timor between September 1999 and June 2001, focussing on the rehabilitation and handover of the Dili hospital.

"Good bye and thank you..." (in pdf format) is, in short, the way the East Timorese reacted to the end of the ICRC's involvement in the Dili hospital following the vote for independence in the summer of 1999 and the handover, 22 months later, of the hospital in June 2001. It exemplifies their resolve to handle the matters on their own from then on and recognizes the welcome help received to make this possible in a relatively short time.

Beyond a description as to what was done regarding the hospital and the care it dispensed to the East Timorese, this experience provides a case study of the relation and complementarity between protection and assistance activities of the ICRC. To do so, the ICRC's Dili hospital experience is placed against the background of a theoretical protection model developed over recent years in the framework of several interagency workshops organized by the ICRC. This model seeks to clarify the links between different levels of intervention, be they the immediate response to save lives in the midst of crisis, the efforts needed to rehabilitate after the first emergency has subsided, or the framework needed to sustain efforts deployed over the long-term. The model also presents a useful tool to clarify the essential coordination and cooperation -- and indeed complementarity -- between different humanitarian organizations involved.