Foreign Minister Carr: I have spoken to people here who have been forced out of their homes, who have been shot at as they've fled to the border, clutching their kids. And now they're living here in the swirling flying dust in this improvised refugee camp that has grown up in the last week.
150 people last night fled from Syria, shot at as they fled the border. What we are doing is increasing our aid by another four million to provide them with blankets, food, tents, with water. Jordan is one of the water poorest countries in the world. The people and the Government of Jordan are under terrible pressure here as they cope with the pressure of refugee numbers.
We will be increasing our aid by 4 million dollars - that brings to 20 million the money we are putting into these refugee camps. That makes us the fourth biggest national contributor. I am going to be lobbying countries to say you must do more for refugees, you must do more to help Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon - their schools, hospitals, water supplies and their energy – cope with this flow of refugees desperately leaving Syria.
Question: Now it is one thing to read about it, but what is the impact you have had [inaudible].
Foreign Minister Carr: One man I spoke to here, told me about [inaudible] Hezbollah and other extremist groups joining in the killing of civilians, the shooting of children by Government forces. What do you make of a government that will level artillery shells at the homes of its own people? People here talk about the government firing shells onto their homes, destroying their homes, levelling the village and the towns around them. Some have been tortured under arrest. These are terrible stories.
Question: Minister you have mentioned that Australia is now the four biggest donor and that you will be calling on countries. That is not an easy thing to do in this fiscal environment. We all see what is happening in Europe. It seems like this is a sensible thing [inaudible]?
Foreign Minister Carr: The big thing is to resolve the crisis in Syria. I appeal again to Russia and China to join the other members of the Security Council in getting us a solution here. Otherwise these people are still going to be here in winter when the fine dust is turned into mud.
Question: Foreign Minister, some would, I suppose would say, this is not linked to humanitarian concern but also as we know Australia is campaigning for the Security Council next year. Does this have anything to do with that?
Foreign Minister Carr: Whether we were campaigning for a seat on the Security Council or not, I would be here announcing that we are doing more for these people and urging other Governments to do the same. This is what Australians do. If people are suffering like this, driven out of their homes, bombed out of their homes, fired on as they crossed the border clutching their kids, Australians have got to be there helping.
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