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Six months since Bali atrocity.



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MEDIA RELEASE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS ALEXANDER DOWNER FA37 12 April 2003

SIX MONTHS SINCE BALI ATROCITY

Six months ago today the horrific bomb attack in Bali killed 88 young Australians. This tragic anniversary reminds us of the threat posed to all of us by terrorism. It destroys lives and can cause long-lasting economic damage.

Australia places a high priority on working closely with regional partners to combat this scourge, particularly with Indonesia. Our shared suffering from the Bali atrocity has brought our two countries closer together and strengthened our joint resolve to defeat terrorism in our region.

Today I am pleased to announce that Australia has established a Rehabilitation Fund to assist Balinese businesses and business people affected by the bombings.

While the full impact on the economy is not yet clear, the downturn in the tourist industry is causing hardship not only in Bali but in surrounding areas such as Lombok and East Java.

Australia has contributed $750,000 to the fund which will be in place for a year.

The fund will disburse grants to those most vulnerable to poverty as a result of lost opportunities to small businesses. These grants will facilitate additional training to help expand employment prospects and improve the viability of existing small businesses.

Support will also be given to small business proposals that generate alternative incomes and improve access to new markets.

The scheme will be managed through the AusAID-funded Bali-based Australian Community and Civil Society Strengthening Scheme.

The Bali Rehabilitation Fund is part of Australia’s broader humanitarian response to the Bali bombing - earlier this year, the Australian Government announced substantial assistance for Bali’s health sector to serve as a memorial to those who lost their lives in the Bali bombings.

Media contacts: Chris Kenny (Ministerial) 02 6277 7500 or 0419 206 890 Jo Elsom (AusAID) 02 6206 4960 or 0412 804 489

Media releases and speeches are available from DFAT via the internet. http://www.dfat.gov.au/