|Subject: AFP: UN launches Timor refugee
UN launches Timor refugee appeal
From correspondents in Dili
January 18, 2007 08:49pm
Article from: Agence France-Presse
EAST Timor and the US today launched an appeal for $US16.6 million ($21.13 million) to help resettle and reintegrate about 100,000 people displaced by violence which wracked the country last year.
The money would pay for humanitarian projects implemented by a network of UN and aid agencies and non-government organisations, the UN said in a statement.
Prime Minister Jose Ramos Horta and UN special representative Atul Khare jointly launched the appeal.
More than $US20 million ($25.46 million) were raised last year to shelter and feed the internal refugees, but more funds were needed to ensure supplies and support for the displaced in 2007.
An estimated 150,000 Timorese, or 15 per cent of the population, were displaced following the outbreak of violence in May 2006 which left 37 dead.
"Although the political and security situation has since stabilised, particularly following the deployment of international forces at the end of May, the majority of the displaced have been unable to return to their homes," the UN mission in East Timor said.
UN deputy special representative Finn Reske-Nielsen said food insecurity was also increasing in the districts, malnutrition remained at high levels and the threat of disease was high with the onset of the rains.
The UN says East Timor remains one of the poorest countries in the world with 44 per cent of the population suffering from food insecurity.
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