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Thursday, 30 April 1987
Page: 2375

(Question No. 5067)

Mr Coleman asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 18 February 1987:

Has Australian bilateral aid to Afghan refugees in Pakistan declined from $6.2m in 1984-85 to $4.9m in 1985-86.

Mr Hayden —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

I refer the honourable member to my reply to question on notice No. 1977 in the weekly Hansard No. 18 of 29 November 1985.

Australian aid to Afghan refugees in Pakistan is provided on a multilateral basis in support of assistance programs by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Committee on the Red Cross. This had been:

1983-84-$6.2 million

1984-85-$4.5 million

1985-86-$4.9 million

Most of this aid has been food aid, mainly wheat, the tonnage of which has been maintained at 20,000 tonnes a year in recent years. In 1985-86 an additional 5,000 tonnes of wheat was provided. Because of the fall in commodity prices the total value of our aid to the refugees in dollar terms has tended to stabilize over the last two years.