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Australian food aid for Indonesia.



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MEDIA RELEASE

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

ALEXANDER DOWNER

 

AA88

29 October 1998

 

 

AUSTRALIAN FOOD AID FOR INDONESIA

 

I am pleased to announce that Australia will be providing an additional $7 million package of food assistance to Indonesia through the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), utilising approximately 11,000 tonnes of Australian rice.

 

This rice will be channelled through WFP’s Emergency Operation for Indonesia. The Operation targets the poorest and most nutritionally vulnerable groups in the Indonesian population. The Government, through AusAID, is consulting with WFP on arrangements for early delivery of the rice.

 

This latest food aid package brings total Australian humanitarian assistance in response to the Indonesian crisis to $60 million.

 

I have informed the Indonesian Government of this assistance, through my meeting today in Adelaide with the Indonesian Minister for Food and Horticulture, Dr Saefuddin.

 

As I told the Minister, the Australian Government appreciates fully - and continues to be greatly concerned about - the current food security difficulties of the Indonesian people. As an all-weather friend of the Indonesian people, Australia remains firmly committed to helping Indonesia to alleviate these difficulties.

 

In the last year Australia has responded to Indonesia’s food security situation with a range of appropriate measures, including provision of a food assistance package utilising 45,000 tonnes of Australian wheat.

 

In addition Australia has supported a major relief operation in Irian Jaya involving AusAID and the Australian Defence Force. We have also funded a range of village-level relief and income generation activities implemented through international agencies and non-government organisations.

 

This assistance is additional to Australia’s pledge of $120 million in total aid flows to Indonesia for FY1998/99, bringing the total to $127 million.

 

Media contacts: Innes Willox (Minister’s Office) 02 6277 7500/0419 206 890

Keith Scott (AusAID) 02 6206 4971

 

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