Australian assistance for displaced people in Rakhine State, Myanmar

Media release

4 June 2013

Foreign Minister Bob Carr today announced that Australia will provide an additional $1.5 million to help displaced people in Rakhine State, Myanmar.

Senator Carr said Australia will support UNICEF to provide 40,000 people with safe drinking water and better facilities for hygiene and sanitation in the affected areas.

"This new funding includes 8,000 buckets and water purification kits, and hygiene kits including soap, sanitary napkins, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and 2,000 latrines and hand washing stations," Senator Carr said.

"The rainy season poses increased health threats for more than 140,000 people who are still displaced in Rakhine State following communal violence last year.

"There is a high risk of acute diarrhoea and other waterborne diseases, including cholera.

"Assistance improves access to safe drinking water by upgrading water points and providing water-proof latrines to reduce contamination, and providing basic supplies such as soap."

Senator Carr reaffirmed Australia's commitment in assisting to resolve communal tensions, supporting the peace process, and providing humanitarian assistance to those affected by recent ethnic and sectarian conflict.

"Australia is supporting local efforts to bring peace to regions affected by conflict in Myanmar," Senator Carr said.

"We continue to call for a efforts to resolve the underlying causes of the unrest in Rakhine State."

This contribution takes Australia's total humanitarian assistance to people in Rakhine to over $5.79 million since the violence last year, making us one of the largest donors to the emergency.

Our previous funding has already made a difference by:

Australia continues to urge all parties to work together to resolve the underlying causes of the situation and support the reconciliation of the two communities.

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