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Wednesday, 14 December 1983
Page: 3819

Question No. 361


Senator Bolkus asked the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs , upon notice, on 14 September 1983:

(1) Did the United Nations in November 1982 request member countries to provide educational and humanitarian aid to Palestinians.

(2) How much and what type of aid has each country granted as a response to this request.

(3) Has Australia granted any aid, if not why not.

(4) Will the Minister for Foreign Affairs review applicable guidelines to ensure aid is provided as a matter of emergency if Australia has not granted any aid and in view of the urgency of the situation of the Palestinians.


Senator Gareth Evans —The Minister for Foreign Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) On 18 November 1983, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, UNRWA, confirmed its international appeal of June 1982 for funds for its emergency relief programs for Palestinians and revised its financial targets, from $39m to $43m, for the 12 months to June 1983.

(2) and (3) As of 30 June 1983, in response to the UNRWA appeal the following governments had contributed (US$):

In kind and

associated Contributor

Cash cash Total

Argentina . . 25,000 25,000 Australia 575,445 . . 575,445 Austria 34,818 . . 34,818 Canada 758,120 . . 758,120 China 20,000 . . 20,000 Denmark 1,032,041 . . 1,032,041 Egypt 50,000 . . 50,000 Finland 531,124 . . 531,124 France . . 407,056 407,056 Germany, Federal Republic of 392,157 . . 392,157 Greece 5,000 145,000 150,000 Iceland 18,200 . . 18,200 India 19,890 . . 19,890 Italy 335, 000 2,560,000 2,895,000 Netherlands 650,523 . . 650,523 New Zealand 17,984 . . 17,984 Norway 584,163 . . 584,163 Saudi Arabia 2,915,452 . . 2,915,452 Senegal 5,000 . . 5,000 Sweden 1,353,357 294,610 1,647,967 Switzerland 211,966 322, 067 534,033 Thailand 1,000 . . 1,000 United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland . . 1,850,274 1,850,274 United States of America 16,500,000 . . 16,500,000 Yugoslavia . . 7,813 7,813

Subtotal 26,011,240 5,611,820 31,623,060

(Source: Report of the Commissioner-General, United Nations Relief and Works Agency, 1982-83)

(4) The Government stands prepared to consider sympathetically requests for humanitarian assistance to Palestinians. In 1983-84, Australia will provide to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency 210 tonnes of canned meat valued at around $540,000 for humanitarian assistance for Palestinians. In addition Australia has provided a core budget contribution to UNRWA of $1.4m and has offered six scholarships for training in Australia.