Diarrhoea and vomiting was spreading rapidly through the Tuapukan camp, on the eastern outskirts of Kupang, said Fr Mulyono. “We found a boy and an old lady dead in Tuapukan camp in Kupang last week. In the last week of March we found five refugees dead from the epidemic—teenagers and adults,” he said. “Another six teenagers are being treated in the local health centre right now.”
Another 10 refugees had died in March in the nearby Noelbaki camp, some from diarrhoea and some from old age, he said. “People are still dying. It’s the rainy season, the camps are muddy, sanitation is poor, there’s no running water, and malnutrition is rife,” said Fr Mulyono. “Since all the foreign aid workers left, there is no-one looking after them any more. Babies are born tiny and undersized, because their mothers are so undernourished.”
Last month, JRS West Timor drew attention to the great hunger that the East Timorese refugees were suffering, as they had been without aid from GOI (Government of Indonesia) or local aid agencies since January. The GOI has set up a task force to deal with the refugees, however, this group was not tackling desperate shortages of food and other essential items, said JRS. The local government of West Timor loaned the refugees some rice on 20 March after the refugee co-ordinators protested.
Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS): To accompany, To serve, To advocate Added Mar 24
The JRS is an international Catholic organisation, at work in over 40 countries, including East Timor and Indonesia, with a mission is to accompany, serve and defend the rights of refugees and forcibly displaced people. The mission given to JRS embraces all who are driven from their homes by conflict, humanitarian disaster or violation of human rights, following Catholic social teaching which applies the expression ‘de facto refugee’ to many related categories of people. The purpose of JRS is intimately connected with the mission of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), namely to promote the justice of God’s Kingdom, in dialogue with cultures and religions.
International: CP 6139, 00195 Roma Prati, Italy. Tel: +39-06 689.77.391; Fax: +39-06 687.92.83; Email: email@example.com
Asia Pacific: Tel: +66 - 2 279 1817; Tel: +66 - 2 278 4182; Fax: +66 - 2 271 3632 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact JRS contact person in the country where you live. The JRS International office also provides an information service. Homepage: http://www.jesref.org Timor alerts: http://www.jesref.org/inf/alert/tplatest.htm
22 JRS: Refugees Going Hungry Briefing added Mar 24
"The refugees in the camps are suffering great hunger. They have had no support from local aid groups since January and from international agencies since September last year, when they withdrew following the killing of UNHCR personnel by militias,” Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) West Timor
BD: Refugees & Missing Persons - A collection of recent information, reports, articles and news
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