TITLE=UNICEF / TIMOR (L-ONLY)
INTRO: A senior United Nations Official says
access to East Timorese refugees in camps in West
Timor has improved in recent days. But, he says
aid agencies are still having difficulty in
delivering aid to people in certain parts of East
Timor. Lisa Schlein in Geneva has more.
TEXT: UNICEF, the United Nations Children's
Fund, says it has become easier in the last few
days to bring relief supplies into West Timor.
Abdul Majid Hussein is Deputy Director of
Emergency Operations for UNICEF.
He says Indonesian authorities have softened
their attitude toward outside aid and are now
fully cooperating with the United Nations. He
says in recent days the Indonesians have allowed
their ships and airplanes to transport health
kits, drugs, baby food and other needed relief
supplies to Kupang, the provincial capital of
I can say with some cautious optimism that
there will not be a serious problem of
certainly not starvation in my view. There
will not be a serious problem if we do our
work also well in the health area.
Although there is the danger of epidemics,
particularly with the rainy season coming.
But, if we continue to get the full support
of the international community, that also
can be averted.
On Sunday, UNICEF will start vaccinating
thousands of refugee children under age five
against preventable diseases such as measles. It
also hopes soon to resume a polio immunization
program, which was interrupted during the violent
events in East Timor.
Mr. Hussein, who is helping to coordinate the U-
N's humanitarian operation in Timor, says aid
agencies are still barred from going to many
parts of East Timor because of security concerns.
He says he is unhappy about this and urges the
International Peacekeeping force to grant
speedier access to these areas.
Mr. Hussein says he believes about 400-thousand
East Timorese are still hiding in the hills.
/// 2ND HUSSEIN ACT///
They are where they were always. They are
just outside their villages, 15-20
kilometers. This has already been
established through intelligence. And, so
these people are there. But, they will
only come down into their villages, into
their settlements, once they feel secure.
And, I think it will be fair to say they
don't feel secure.
The United Nations estimates about 90 percent of
the buildings and houses in East Timor have been
damaged or destroyed. In preparation for the
monsoon season, Mr. Hussein says aid agencies are
bringing in shelter material to help the East
Timorese rebuild their houses. (Signed)
07-Oct-1999 09:48 AM EDT (07-Oct-1999 1348 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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