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$10 million Australian humanitarian assistance for Indonesia.



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MEDIA RELEASE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS ALEXANDER DOWNER

AA 04 046 2 July 2004

$10 million Australian Humanitarian Assistance for Indonesia

I am pleased to announce Australia will provide $10 million to help meet humanitarian needs in Indonesia within the framework of the United Nations Consolidated Appeal 2004. This is a further example of Australia's commitment to assisting Indonesia.

Australia has provided more than $145 million in humanitarian aid to Indonesia since 1998. Indonesia remains vulnerable to natural disasters and inter-communal conflict.

Working with international non-government and United Nations organisations, our assistance responds to immediate humanitarian needs, addresses the underlying causes of conflict and fosters social cohesion.

In partnership with a small number of key humanitarian agencies, we will focus on building stronger health, education, nutritional and conflict prevention programs in Maluku, West Timor and Central Sulawesi.

Following recent outbreaks of avian influenza and dengue fever, as well as the regional outbreak of SARS in 2003, Australia will work with the World Health Organisation to build a more integrated communicable disease surveillance and control program in Indonesia.

New assistance will be provided to the Indonesian Red Cross to strengthen its disaster prevention and mitigation role. We will continue to support the Indonesia delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross for post-conflict support programs.

The continued presence in Indonesia of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs will be assured throughout 2004 with additional Australian funding. This will include contingency funding for international NGOs to enable them to respond rapidly and effectively to emergencies.

Conflict and disease are significant contributors to poverty. By supporting

programs that address these issues, Australia is helping create an environment for economic growth and development in Indonesia and promoting longer-term peace and stability.

Media inquiries:

Chris Kenny (Minister's Office) 02 6277 7500 or 0419 206 890

Jo Elsom (AusAID) 02 6206 4960 or 0412 804 489