The government will offer humanitarian aid supplies for East Timorese refugees through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Foreign Minister Yohei Kono said Friday.

The decision to provide the aid, consisting of 500 tents, 9,000 blankets, 11,140 sleeping mats, 20,000 water tanks and 5,520 vinyl sheets, was made in response to UNHCR’s appeal to Japan for humanitarian aid, Kono told a news conference after the day’s Cabinet meting. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is Sadako Ogata.

The aid will be sent between today and Wednesday aboard private charter flights.

“The government is prepared to positively consider more aid for East Timor refugees as we respond to aid appeals issued by U.N. humanitarian aid institutions,” Kono said.

It is believed there are still several hundred thousand refugees in East Timor, although some of them have begun to return home since a multinational force restored order in the territory.

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