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Australia Aids Afghan Refugees



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MINISTER FOR

FOREIGN AFFAIRS No. Date

M135 30 December 1982

NEWS RELEASE THE HON. TONY STREET, M.P.

AUSTRALI A AI DS AFGHAN REFUGEES

The M i n i s t e r f o r F o r e i g n A f f a i r s / t h e Hon Tony S t r e e t

MR/ announced t o d a y t h a t i n r e s p o n s e t o a r e q u e s t by t h e

U n i t e d N a t i o n s Hi gh Co mmi s s i o n e r f o r R e f u g e e s / A u s t r a l i a woul d

p r o v i d e a f u r t h e r $ 1 . 3 m i l l i o n f o r Af ghan r e f u g e e s i n P a k i s t a n .

The a i d w i l l be made a v a i l a b l e i n t h e f or m of two

w a t e r d r i l l i n g r i g s / a n c i l l a r y e q u i p me n t and p e r s o n n e l t o i n s t a l l

t h e r i g s i n r e f u g e e camps i n t h e West and N o r t h - W e s t of

P a k i s t a n . T h e r e a r e c u r r e n t l y some 2 . 8 m i l l i o n Af ghan r e f u g e e s

i n P a k i s t a n . The UNHCR i n t e n d s t o f a c i l i t a t e t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t

of new r e f u g e e camps each o f a bo ut 1 0 / 0 0 0 p e o p l e i n o r d e r t o

ease t h e p r e s e n t r e f u g e e c o n c e n t r a t i o n s whi ch a r e v e r y l a r g e

and a r e p o s i n g s e r i o u s a d m i n i s t r a t i v e / s o c i o l o g i c a l and h e a l t h

p r o b l e m s . The p r o v i s i o n of w a t e r s u p p l i e s i n t h e a r e a s c o n c e r n e d /

whi ch a r e i n d r o u g h t - p r o n e r e g i o n s of P a k i s t a n w i l l ease t he

p r e s s u r e s on s c a r c e w a t e r r e s o u r c e s used by l o c a l i n h a b i t a n t s .

The UNHCR pr ogr a ms ai m t o p r o v i d e be t we e n 1 5 - 2 0 l i t r e s pe r day

o f w a t e r s u i t a b l e f o r d r i n k i n g t o each r e f u g e e .

The M i n i s t e r s a i d t h a t A u s t r a l i a was w e l l p l a c e d t o

p r o v i d e t h e d r i l l r i g s pa c k a ge t o UNHCR. A l l n e c e s s a r y

e q u i p me n t and p e r s o n n e l r e q u i r e d woul d be o f A u s t r a l i a n o r i g i n .

The M i n i s t e r a d d e d / t h e p l i g h t of t h e Af ghan r e f u g e e s

i n P a k i s t a n c o u l d o n l y be ove r c ome i f t h e S o v i e t Uni on ceased

i t s i l l e g a l o c c u p a t i o n of A f g h a n i s t a n a l l o w i n g c o n d i t i o n s t o

emer ge so t h a t t h e r e f u g e e s c o u l d r e t u r n , i n p e a c e and s e c u r i t y .