East Timor: Portugal gives IRC $250,000
The IRC’s support efforts are being undertaken in concert with other nongovernmental organizations that have been serving the population of East Timor, said Barbara Smith, the IRC’s vice president, overseas operations.
Initial support will focus on the refugees’ most critical needs: food and shelter, water and public health services, she said.
IRC staff members reported Monday from Kupang, West Timor, that conditions were highly volatile, with refugees pouring into West Timor.
Gerald Martone, director of the IRC’s emergency response unit and a member of a United Nations humanitarian-needs assessment team, arrived in Indonesia Sunday to help organize initial efforts in support of East Timor’s refugees and displaced persons.
Martone is serving on the assessment team in his role as co-chairman of the Disaster Response Committee of InterAction, a coalition of over 150 humanitarian agencies.
Martone told IRC colleagues in New York by telephone that shelter, water and sanitation facilities are desperately needed. He also said that incidents of malaria have increased 100 percent in the absence of spraying.