|Subject: AP: Shipment of aid for
impoverished East Timorese arrives 3 years late
Associated Press Worldstream
December 22, 2006
Shipment of aid for impoverished East Timorese arrives 3 years late
DILI East Timor
A shipment of emergency clothing, food and wheelchairs intended for impoverished residents of East Timor was unloaded from a port in the capital Friday, three years after it was sent by Australian donors.
A statement issued by the government apologized for the hold up, apparently caused by excessive bureaucracy, saying "only the intervention of Prime Minister Ramos-Horta led to the 'liberation'" of the container.
"It is a totally unacceptable delay," Ramos-Horta said. "Many of the goods, including cooking oil, sugar ... have now deteriorated."
Unrest in East Timor earlier this year killed dozens and drove 155,000 people from their homes, just seven years after gaining independence from 24-years of bloody Indonesian rule.
Tens of thousands remain in overcrowded tent camps and shelters in one of the world's poorest nations even as conditions worsen due to the start of the rainy season.