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AUSTRALIAN HIGH COMMISSION
25 November 2008
Australia provides $4 million to assist earthquake victims and IDPs
The Australian Government is providing A$4 million for the victims of the recent earthquake in Baluchistan and in support of relief and recovery efforts for internally displaced people and flood affected communities in the Frontier province.
In the Frontier, Australia is supporting the United Nations Humanitarian Response Plan and the International Committee of the Red Cross. The main focus of the support is to meet immediate and medium term needs of the hundred of thousands of displaced people, including through provision of food, shelter, water and sanitation and health services.
In Baluchistan, Australia’s contribution will support the immediate post-earthquake relief efforts through the International Committee of the Red Cross, UNICEF and international non-government organisations. Australia has a strong connection with the primary education system in Baluchistan and it is estimated that over 100 Australian-supported schools have been damaged by the quakes. Australian relief will help rebuild and repair these schools.
“Australia’s contribution will provide life-saving assistance to the many vulnerable families affected by the recent disasters,” said Australian High Commissioner, Ms Zorica McCarthy. “These crises have hit in some of the most remote, inaccessible and poverty-stricken regions of Pakistan. Australia is committed to rendering both humanitarian and longer-term development assistance to these areas.”
Australia has been a substantial contributor to humanitarian and emergency relief efforts in Pakistan in recent years. Australia’s contribution to reconstruction efforts in the wake of the 2005 earthquake stands at A$74 million, making Australia the tenth largest single-country donor. Australia also committed over A$3 million to the relief effort following the Baluchistan and Sindh floods in 2007, ranking fourth amongst bilateral donors.
Australia will provide approximately $30.5 million in development assistance to Pakistan in 2008-09. Bilateral programs focus on improving health and education, building agricultural linkages between Australia and Pakistan, and providing scholarships at Australian institutions. The Australian Government is enhancing its engagement with Pakistan and will substantially scale up its aid program to Pakistan in future years.