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Australian disaster relief for Dominica



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D E P A R T M E N T O F F O R E I G N A F F A I R S

C A N B E R R A , A C T . 2 6 0 0

M73 3 September 1979

AUSTRALIAN DISASTER RELIEF FOR DOMINICA

The Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Viner, announced today that the Australian Government has decided to make $30,000 available in response to an international appeal by the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth Caribbean 'state

Dominica, Mr Oliver Seraphine, for assistance to that island which has been devastated by Hurricane David, the worst storm in the Caribbean for almost a century.

Dominica, which became independent and a member of the Commonwealth on 28 November 1978» has now been declared a disaster area. The hurricane has claimed 22 lives in Dominica and rendered 60,000 of the island's 80,000 people homeless.

Seventy to eighty per cent of the country's banana crops which provide 70 per cent of its exports have been destroyed and the capital, Roseau, has been flattened.

The Australian Government feels a special responsibility to assist Dominica in view of Dominica's recent admission to the Commonwealth, and Australia's special interest in and concern for the problem of small states. .

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