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MSS warns it will stop assistance to victims of natural disasters

Dili Weekly - February 10, 2014

Paulina Quintao – Minister Isabel Amaral Guterres warned the MSS will halt natural disaster relieve assistance to victims because of cases where construction materials given by the government are re-sold.

Minister Guterres said the government's support is to assist victims of natural disasters repair their homes not for them to re-sell the materials provided.

"If their houses flood again, the same families will not qualify for additional assistance because rather than using the materials for themselves, they sold them," said Minister Guterres at the National Parliament, in Dili.

She added shortly MSS's technical team will monitor the use of the materials already distributed to victims to determine whether the materials were used to repair homes or re-sold. "Our team will go and monitoring and look at the houses of the beneficiaries," said Minister Guterres.

Meanwhile a resident of Uato-Carbau Sub-district, in Viqueque District, Marito Amaral, said he is aware of some recipients who re-sold the construction materials they received from MSS to public servants at market prices.

"In this particular case because the recipient lives very far, he sent his son to collect the materials and to sell them. For example he sold to public servants one sack of cement for $8."

He blames MSS and its team for not providing better information to the recipients of the assistance that materials could not be re-sold and what sanctions apply so they are afraid of re-selling the construction materials provided.