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Transcript of press conference: 6 November 1998: Aid to Nicaragua



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OFFICE OF THE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

A ยท J)c ( a ) TUA/ TRANSCRIPTION: PROOF COPY E&OE

DATE: 6 November 1998

VENUE: ANU, Canberra

TITLE: Aid to Nicargua

Question: On Nicaragua the United States have

pledged $70 million in aid and a number of other countries are preparing to airlift and to shift in supplies. What can Australia do, how far advanced are we in looking at aid ?

Mr Downer: Well, look at this stage, we have just been

looking at the dollars and cents of making a contribution. But in terms of what type of contribution we’ll make, in practical terms, we are still waiting for a report from the United Nations. I hope that in the next day or so we’ll have some answers to the questions on the sort of things we can provide. I think there is a feeling in Australia that Australia should assist at a time of such a particularly tragic crisis and many Australians are themselves voluntarily providing support and I don’t doubt that we will

be able to make some contribution to the relief effort through the aid program.

ENDS.