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Australian assistance for Solomon Islands internally displaced people.



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MEDIA RELEASE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS THE HON CHRIS GALLUS MP

AA 03 038 7 July 2003

Australian assistance for Solomon Islands internally displaced people

More than 1,000 Solomon Islanders will be helped by up to $100,000 in emergency assistance from Australia, the Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Mrs Chris Gallus said today.

'The recent activities of Harold Keke and his followers on the Weathercoast region of Guadalcanal have left an estimated 1250 people displaced.

'Food, shelter, cooking utensils and clothing are being provided following a needs assessment by the Australian High Commission in Honiara and the Solomon Islands National Disaster Management Office,' Mrs Gallus said.

The majority of those displaced are now living in Titinge village on the outskirts of Honiara. Others are being cared for in the villages of Aruliho, Marovovo, Boneghe and Malango.

'While local people are doing what they can to assist those displaced, Australian assistance will greatly help alleviate the burden,' Mrs Gallus said.

School children at Titinge will also benefit from Australian funding to build a school, which will now be expanded to accommodate displaced children.

Trauma counselling is also being provided by Australia through the Solomon Islands National Council of Women,' Mrs Gallus said.

Australia will continue to work with the Solomon Islands Red Cross and the National Disaster Management Office to improve the ability of both to respond to emergencies and natural disasters.

Contacts: Shane Fairlie (Office of Mrs Gallus) 02 6277 4840 or 0408 680 442 Jo Elsom (AusAID) 02 6206 4960 or 0412 804 489