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Australia to fly in emergency assistance to Kurdish refugees



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No. MT23 Dat(*0 APril 1991 it

AUSTRALIA TO FLY IN EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE TO KURDISH REFUGEES

Australia is to provide a large consignment of emergency- supplies to assist Kurdish refugees in Turkey, the Minister for Trade and Overseas Development, Neal Blewett, announced today.

The consignment of approximately 22 tonnes of tents, blankets, clothing and emergency food rations will leave Richmond Airbase on Saturday morning in a RAAF 707 aircraft. The aircraft is expected to reach Incirlik Airbase in Turkey on Monday local

time.

"Recent estimates have put the number of Kurdish refugees in the region of the Turkish-Iraq border as high as 750,000. This area is mountainous and bitterly cold - so the refugees' plight is extremely serious. They are in desperate need of help of this kind," Dr Blewett said.

After being unloaded at the Turkish airbase, the supplies will be airdropped by parachute to the refugees by allied forces.

This contribution is being made by the Australian Government in co-operation with the Australian Overseas Disaster Response Organisation, which is providing several tonnes of blankets and clothing.

The emergency relief supplies to Kurdish refugees form part of the Australian Government's program of overseas development co-operation administered by the Australian International Development Assistance Bureau.

CANBERRA

For further information contact: Ali Gillies, Director, Public Information Section, AIDAB Phone (06) 2764960

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