Thirty tonnes of MSF materials on the way to East Timor

East Timor - The first MSF staff, four people in total, will be on a flight from Darwin to East Timor on September 23. They have one car to go with them, filled with medicines and necessary materials. More material is on the way. Approximately 10 tonnes will be heading to East Timor by sea. The voyage is expected to take 30 hours.

MSF involvement in West Timor, where there was a massive influx of refugees fleeing the vilence in East Timor, will be diviided between Kupang and Kefa and Atamba. A team is expected to be in Atamba as soon as Friday.

In her press conference before leaving Jakarta, UNHCR president Sadaka Ogata said central and local governments had given assurances that routes for humanitarian operations would be opened in West Timor.

OCHA is coordinating the NGO efforts in East Timor and has emphasized the need for international NGOs to work as close as possible with local NGOs.

MSF has been coordinating activities with the Ministry of Health in Jakarta and has been asked to assist with water and sanitation, vector control, emergency preparedness and general coordination activities.

The Australian military has stated it will not be flying more journalists out to East Timor as there are insufficient resources to support them. This follows the death of a journalist who was in the region. However the military has stated the two events are unrelated.

Military buildup has continued with another 150 troops having been flown to Baucau. Indonesian soldiers are expected to have withdrawn from the area completely by Sunday.

Meanwhile, U.N. food drops have been delayed a second day. The World Food Programme has 45 tonnes of rice ready for delivery to Dili.

With the military movement back to East Timor, the UNAMET faciliy has been reestablished. 17 staff members have taken posts there. The High Commission of Refugees (UNHCR) has three staff members in Dili and another seven in Darwin.