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Australia + 3 others
Iraqi Christians, Yazidi refugees fleeing Islamic State for Australia may miss out on visas

By social affairs correspondent Norman Hermant

As hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians and Yazidi refugees flee Islamic State (IS) militants, family members living in Australia are hoping to secure special humanitarian visas for their loved ones.

But groups representing the communities say the 4,000 places freed up by the Government are far too few.

In a bare apartment in western Sydney, the distinctive sound of Kurdish drifts out into the top floor hallway.

A Yazidi man is on his daily video call with his wife, now a refugee in Turkey.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation:

© ABC

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Nauru + 1 other
Commonwealth Ombudsman investigating claims of substandard conditions at Nauru immigration detention centre

By Josh Bavas

The Commonwealth Ombudsman is investigating concerns about sub-standard conditions and treatment at Australia's immigration detention centre on Nauru.

The investigation comes amid a growing number of complaints lodged by detainees and staff at the remote Pacific island centre.

Hania, a 32-year-old Christian Iranian, was in the Nauru detention centre for 10 months after she tried to catch a boat from Indonesia to Australia last year.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation:

© ABC

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Australia + 1 other
Asylum-seekers sue Australia over 'poor' medical care

08/26/2014 03:33 GMT

SYDNEY, August 26, 2014 (AFP) - Asylum-seekers including a six-year-old girl are suing the Australian government for compensation and medical care after they were allegedly injured while detained on Christmas Island, their lawyers said Tuesday.

Law firm Maurice Blackburn said a class action was filed on behalf of people who have been injured, or have seen their injuries worsen, due to the alleged failure of the government to provide "adequate medical care" in camps in the Australian territory.

Agence France-Presse:

©AFP: The information provided in this product is for personal use only. None of it may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the express permission of Agence France-Presse.

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Solomon Islands + 1 other
Australia provides additional $2 million for Solomon Islands flood recovery effort

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Brett Mason, today announced Australia will provide an additional $2 million to assist ongoing recovery efforts following April’s devastating floods in Solomon Islands.

The disaster claimed 23 lives, displaced thousands and inflicted widespread damage to local infrastructure, including critical bridges and roads.

Senator Mason made the announcement while delivering a keynote address to business leaders and Solomon Islands Government ministers at the Solomon Islands Business Forum in Brisbane.

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Myanmar + 5 others
South-East Asia Irregular Maritime Movements

UNHCR: Over 20,000 people risked lives in Indian Ocean in first half of 2014

A new UNHCR report on irregular maritime movements in South East Asia estimates that 20,000 people risked their lives in sea crossings in the first half of this year. Many were Rohingya who fled Myanmar and arrived in the region suffering the effects of malnutrition and abuse during the journey. Several hundred people were also intercepted on boats heading to Australia.

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Sierra Leone + 2 others
Australia supports Ebola Fight with $1M through World Health Organization

The Government of Australia is providing the sum of One Million United States Dollars through the World Health Organization as additional support to fight the Ebola Virus. This is in addition to an annual 20 million dollars support the Australian Government provides to the WHO for Emergency Health issues.

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Getting children safely out of detention

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The Government has today announced new measures that will enable more children to be released onto bridging visas from detention and save taxpayers more than $50 million.

The Government has finalised new bridging visa arrangements that provide greater protection and support for young children, aged under ten, and their families that will enable them to now be released from detention into the community on bridging visas, if they arrived prior to July 19 last year.

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Australia + 10 others
Immigration Detention and Community Statistics Summary - 30 June 2014

About this report

This report provides an overview of the number of people in immigration detention and Offshore Processing Centres as at midnight on the date of the report. The report is produced on a monthly basis.

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Philippines + 1 other
Aussie gov't grants P33M for 26 WV projects

ILOILO CITY, Aug. 18 (PIA6) - - The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) of the Australian government has provided a P33.1 million grant to support the government’s efforts on education in Western Visayas.

The grant will be used for the construction of 26 sub-projects consisting of day care centers and school buildings in identified municipalities in the region.

Maricar Calubiran, DSWD 6 Kalahi CIDDS Social Marketing Officer, said DFAT is now on its second year implementation in the region.

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South Sudan + 1 other
Additional assistance for South Sudan

The Australian Government will provide a further $5 million in humanitarian assistance to South Sudan bringing Australia’s contribution to the crisis to over $18 million since conflict began.

The funding will go to the United Nation's South Sudan Common Humanitarian Fund to support provision of emergency food, water, sanitation, shelter and medical assistance, and support for the protection of civilians.

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Australia + 2 others
Australia to take 4,400 refugees from Syria, Iraq

08/17/2014 08:25 GMT

SYDNEY, August 17, 2014 (AFP) - Australia will offer to resettle some 4,400 people fleeing violence in Iraq and Syria, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said Sunday, adding the places had been freed up by success in stopping asylum-seeker boats.

Boat arrivals have all but dried up since Australia said it would refuse resettlement to any refugees arriving on unauthorised vessels, sending them instead to Papua New Guinea and Nauru in the Pacific.

Agence France-Presse:

©AFP: The information provided in this product is for personal use only. None of it may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the express permission of Agence France-Presse.

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Viet Nam + 1 other
Australian Government aids small-scale humanitarian projects

VGP - The Australian Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City on August 13 formally launched the Australian Government’s Direct Aid Program (DAP) for development projects in the central and southern provinces of Viet Nam from Da Nang southwards.

DAP provides grants for small-scale development projects, about $10,000 each with a view to addressing humanitarian hardship and advancing developmental outcomes for disadvantaged communities.

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Iraq + 1 other
Humanitarian Assistance to Iraq

On Wednesday night I was privileged to visit Al Minhad Airbase in the United Arab Emirates where the dedicated and highly professional men and women of the Australian Defence Force were preparing for the first Australian humanitarian aid drop to Northern Iraq.

The mission was conducted by a RAAF C-130J Hercules delivering ten pallets of badly needed supplies to Yezidi civilians trapped on Mount Sinjar by encircling ISIL forces.

The cargo included 150 boxes of high energy biscuits and 340 boxes of bottled water – enough to sustain 3,700 people for 24 hours.

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Malaysia + 11 others
Dengue Situation Update, 12 August 2014

Update on the dengue situation in the Western Pacific Region

Northern Hemisphere

In the last past weeks, Malaysia has experienced an increase in new dengue cases. As of 23 July:

  • Cumulative number of reported cases: 53,246
  • Cumulative number of deaths reported: 147

The Philippines are experiencing a lower level of Dengue than in 2013. As of 19 July (Table 1):

  • Cumulative number of reported cases: 35,264
  • Cumulative number of deaths reported: 134
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Fiji + 1 other
Australia to co-lead international observation of Fijian election

Australia will co-lead the Multinational Observation Group for the Fiji elections on 17 September, at the invitation of Fiji.

This development is a further sign of the Australian Government’s commitment to normalise relations with Fiji, as well as our support to Fiji’s electoral process and return to democracy.

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Iraq + 2 others
Australia to join humanitarian airdrops in Iraq

08/13/2014 01:31 GMT

SYDNEY, August 13, 2014 (AFP) - Prime Minister Tony Abbott has confirmed Australian planes will join humanitarian airdrops in Iraq and did not rule out the possibility of greater military involvement.

Abbott, speaking in London after security talks, said Canberra was in discussions with international partners on how to protect displaced Iraqi civilians trapped on Mount Sinjar by jihadist Islamic State militants.

Agence France-Presse:

©AFP: The information provided in this product is for personal use only. None of it may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the express permission of Agence France-Presse.

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World + 3 others
JRS paper: A Regional Response to Forced Migration

Refugees in Asia Pacific: an overview

With the lowest number of signatories to the 1951 Refugee Convention in the world, the Asia Pacific region offers paltry protection to people on the move. Consequently, the millions of refugees and asylum seekers who transit through this region or arrive here in the hope of finding safety face numerous and often insurmountable challenges.

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Iraq + 1 other
Iraq crisis: Australia offers to help US provide humanitarian aid, Prime Minister Tony Abbott says

Australia has offered to help the United States provide humanitarian assistance to refugees in Iraq, the Prime Minister says.

Tony Abbott says he spoke with US officials overnight to discuss what has been described as "potential genocide" in Iraq.

"This is a humanitarian disaster potentially on a massive scale," he said.

"President [Barack] Obama has already said that it has the potential to become a genocide and that's why it's important for Australia to join with our international partners in doing what we can to render humanitarian assistance."

Australian Broadcasting Corporation:

© ABC

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More Australian humanitarian assistance for Gaza

The Australian Government will provide a further $10 million in urgent humanitarian assistance for Gaza. The assistance will be delivered through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The funding is in addition to the $5 million provided to UNRWA and NGOs which I announced last week, and to Australia’s existing commitment of $56.5 million for development assistance to the Palestinian Territories in 2014-15.

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Bangladesh + 2 others
Bangladesh, Australia & Germany Join Forces To Keep Bangladesh Pupils In School

DHAKA – One million schoolchildren will receive nutritious biscuits, thanks to a generous contribution of 10,000 metric tons of wheat from the government of Bangladesh to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). To cover the costs of biscuit production, transport, distribution and monitoring, Australia has donated AUD1 million (BDT7 crore) and the Federal Republic of Germany €544,000 (BDT5.7 crore).