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More emergency assistance for Somalia

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No. MTA I 47Datel 7/9/92


The Minister for Trade and Overseas Development, John Kerin, today announced Australia would contribute an additional $2m to provide emergency assistance to the millions in desperate need in Somalia and Somalian refugees in nearby countries.

The additional funding will be available to meet the medium to long-term needs of Somalia including seeds, tools, water supply, medical and health needs. The funds will be distributed through NGOs and international agencies.

The Government last month committed $2m to match public Somalia aid contributions.

Today's announcement will bring to $8.5m the Australian Government's contribution so far this year to help the estimated 4.5 million people in need of food and medical assistance in Somalia and in refugee camps in Kenya.

Mr Kerin said he recognised the enormous support displayed by the Australian public in raising more than $10m for Somalia aid appeals and he committed Australia to provide continuing assistance because of the on-going nature of the crisis.

Mr Kerin also announced that planning is underway for a high level fact finding mission to Africa in an effort to ensure that Australian assistance is reaching those who need it most.

Details of who will take part in the visit are yet to be decided.

Mr Kerin said that the situation in Somalia was also being continually monitored by officials of the government's overseas aid agency, AIDAB.

He said Australia was also pressing for the United Nations to improve its emergency coordination mechanisms, both in Somalia and elsewhere, and to strengthen the Office of the Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs.

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CANBERRA. For further information contact AIDAB Public Affairs: Tony Melville, (06) 276 4971 or A.H (06) 295 8568. Wendy Levy, (06) 276 4966 or A.H (06) 247 8920. . ... ... .. .

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