Church Aids Timorese Refugees

    “Church Aids Timorese Refugees,” Ensign, July 2000, 78

    Church Aids Timorese Refugees

    At the request of the Indonesian government, the Church has provided nearly half a million pounds of rice, powdered milk, clothing, hygiene kits, and medical supplies to some 100,000 East Timorese refugees still living in makeshift camps in West Timor.

    Of the 150,000 refugees who fled East Timor due to last year’s civil war, only one-third have returned home. “Help is urgently needed [for] these homeless families,” said Garry Flake, director of Humanitarian Service for the Church, who recently visited Indonesia.

    Church humanitarian funds were used to purchase rice and other food from local sources. Personal hygiene supplies were also purchased locally and assembled by Indonesian Church members and others to make 20,000 kits for refugee families. Clothing, powdered milk, and medical supplies were sent to West Timor from Church welfare facilities in Salt Lake City. Supplies will continue to be sent according to ongoing need among the refugees.

    Alwi Shihab, Indonesian minister of foreign affairs, expressed appreciation to the Church for its assistance.

    The Church provided half a million pounds of food, clothing, and medical supplies to some 100,000 East Timorese still living in West Timor refugee camps. (Photo by Garry Flake.)