Subject: LUSA: Health NGOs Begin to Leave Territory

28 Sep 01 12:20 East Timor: Health NGOs Begin to Leave Territory

Five non-governmental organizations specializing in health are preparing to leave East Timor, as their responsibilities are being assumed by the new government`s health ministry.

Among the five NGOs that will at the end of September stop providing healthcare at the district level are the Portuguese OIKOS and International Medical Assistance (AMI).

The other three set to leave at the end of the month are World Vision International, Timor Aid and Médecins du Monde-France, initiating a process that will similarly affect all other international NGOs by the end of January.

Health Minister Raul Araujo expressed Friday his government`s "sincere gratitude and deep appreciation" of the work carried out by the NGOs. The emergency phase is over, he said, adding that it was now up to his ministry to take over "in the development phase".

JBC -Lusa-

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