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Media release

19 January 2010

Australia increases emergency assistance to Haiti

Over the last few days it has become clear that the situation in Haiti is dire and as more devastation is discovered outside Port au Prince, the scale of the disaster is increasing.

In response to this and to the United Nation’s Flash Appeal launched on the weekend, Australia will provide an additional $5 million to meet urgent and emergency humanitarian needs such as food, water and sanitation, shelter and medical assistance.

The additional assistance in this immediate response phase will include:

This now means $4.5 million is being provided to the World Food Programme, $2.5 million is being provided to Australian NGOs, $1 million is being provided to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA); $1 million is being provided to the International Federation of the Red Cross and $1 million is being provided to OCHA.

Australia’s assistance package, now totalling $15 million, comprises $10 million for immediate humanitarian needs and $5 million for long-term reconstruction assistance following UN assessments of the requirements.

Australia’s assistance is being coordinated through the UN which is overseeing the overall response in conjunction with the Government of Haiti, and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Authority which is coordinating the response of Caribbean countries.

The Australian Government is committed to strengthening relationships with the people and governments of the Caribbean. This is reflected in our recent establishment of relations with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), which includes Haiti, and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding which included support for disaster relief.

In November 2009, Australia announced a $60 million development assistance package which will include support to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency.

 

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