East Timor Crisis
Nation building is never easy. In East Timor, unemployment fuelled violent confrontations, which - in turn - led to the displacement of tens of thousands of people. World Vision assisted with immediate shelter, food and water needs, and then turned our attention to long-term projects to help create strong, sustainable communities.
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When 600 soldiers from the west of East Timor were sacked in March 2006, simmering racial tensions erupted into many weeks of violence over April and May. At least 20 people died, and around 130,000 people were forced from their homes in fear.
Makeshift camps for the displaced sprang up around schools, convents, and public areas. Despite the rapid deployment of an international peacekeeping force to the streets of Dili, gangs of armed youths terrorised families of the tiny nation’s capital for weeks.
World Vision's response
World Vision responded by immediately mobilising its staff to provide support for over 40,000 of those displaced. Food, shelter, and medical care were among the services offered by World Vision staff.
Thanks to the generous support of Australians, World Vision Australia raised almost $400,000 for the emergency response. The funds have enabled World Vision teams to provide emergency assistance in the wake of the crisis and will assist with long-term rehabilitation and reconstruction projects.
Now that security has improved in the fledgling nation, the focus of World Vision’s activities is on longer-term food security, livelihoods, child protection, and peace-building activities.