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Minister urges support for UNHCR.

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Minister Urges Support for UNHCR MPS 090/2001

The Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Philip Ruddock today urged Australians to consider giving financial support to the world's main refugee body, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

"The Australian Government has agreed that gifts to the value of $2 or more made to Australia for UNHCR, up until 27 June 2002, will be tax deductible," Mr Ruddock said.

"Australia has been a long-term supporter of the work of the UNHCR, both in terms of financing and in burden sharing through our refugee resettlement programs.

"The UNHCR is currently facing a financial shortfall and will have to scale back some of its operations, so I would urge Australians who wish to help to consider making a donation to help the work continue.

"In many parts of Africa, the UNHCR has barely enough funds to provide food and shelter to thousands of refugees who cannot go home and remain in appalling conditions where they are.

"There are similar circumstances in and around the Middle East where countries of first asylum are bearing enormous burdens.

"Making donations to worthwhile causes is always a personal matter for the individual, but I believe the UNHCR is an organisation worthy of consideration," Mr Ruddock said.

Note: The phone number for UNHCR in Canberra is (02) 6290 1355

6 July 2001 Media Contact: Steve Ingram (02) 6277 7860

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