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Australia provides additional $11.2M to the World Bank for countries affected by the Gulf crisis



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MT3 6 4 June 1991

AUSTRALIA PROVIDES ADDITIONAL til. 2M TO THE WORLD BANK FOR COUNTRIES AFFECTED BY THE GULF CRISIS

Australia will accelerate payments to the World Bank to assist developing countries suffering economic hardship as a result of the Gulf crisis, the Minister for Trade and Overseas Development, Neal Blewett, announced today.

"Australia will make an additional payment of $11.2 million to the World Bank today," Dr Blewett said.

"The Bank is to be commended for taking action to assist countries affected by the Gulf crisis."

Dr Blewett said that many developing countries had lost income due to trade sanctions against Iraq and from falling remittances as guest workers fled the region. The increase in oil import bills had also had a dramatic impact in the Third W o r l d .

"The World Bank has proposed a package to assist the affected countries which includes new loans and the accelerated disbursement of money for both existing and new loans," he said.

Accelerated payments to the World Bank would bring forward the rate at which the Bank encashed A u s t r a l i a ’s contribution to the International Development Association (IDA), the concessional lending arm of the World Bank G r o u p .

Dr Blewett said the World Bank payments brought Australia's total assistance to victims of the Gulf crisis to $23.7 million.

Australia had already contributed approximately $12.5 million as emergency and humanitarian assistance to victims of the Gulf crisis, including $8.1 million to UN, international and Australian relief agencies and $4.4 million to the Australian Defence medical mission.

The grant forms part of the Australian development co-operation program, administered by the Australian International Development Assistance Bureau (AIDAB).

Canberra For further information, contact Ali Gillies, Director, AIDAB Public Information, on (06) 276 4960.

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