Australia provides assistance to Sudan Referendum

Media release

16 November 2010

The Australian Government urges all parties in Sudan to abide by their commitments under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and to resolve their outstanding differences peacefully – including through the conduct of a peaceful referendum on the possible independence of southern Sudan.

To support the conduct of the referendum and to fund vital humanitarian and maternal and child health activities in Sudan, the Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr Rudd, today announced that Australia would provide a $9 million package of assistance.

The referendum, scheduled for January 2011, is a key milestone under the CPA.

Australia has a long-term commitment to the people of Sudan. This assistance will build on $113 million Australia has provided in humanitarian assistance since 2004. Australia has also deployed 27 Australian Defence Force and Australian Federal Police peacekeepers to the United Nations Mission in Sudan.

Mr Rudd said Australia would continue to work with the United Nations, African Union and the international community to tackle security and development challenges in Sudan, in the lead-up to and beyond the January referendum.

Australia's assistance will comprise:

  • $3 million to the UNDP Referendum Basket Fund, to support the referendum, including voter registration and training for domestic observers;
  • $1 million to the International Organization for Migration to conduct out of country voting, including registration and polling of southern Sudanese in Australia;
  • $5 million to UNICEF and the United Nations Population Fund to provide health, education and other essential services to women and children in southern Sudan.

Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555