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29 Jan 2015 description

The Australian Government will today renew its commitment to the delivery of vaccines, otherwise unaffordable to children in developing countries.

At a replenishment conference for 'Gavi the Vaccine Alliance' chaired by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Australia will commit $250 million from 2016 to 2020. Our pledge follows on from our previous contribution to Gavi of $250 million over five years.

I have asked Australia’s Ambassador to Germany David Ritchie to represent me at the Berlin conference and confirm Australia's pledge.

28 Jan 2015 description

Sydney, Australia | AFP | Wednesday 1/28/2015 - 06:30 GMT

Australia's detention of 157 asylum-seekers at sea for weeks in June was legal, the nation's High Court found Wednesday in a win for the government's hardline immigration stance.

In a tight 4-3 decision, the court ruled the government was entitled to hold the group of Tamils from Sri Lanka on a customs ship with a view to return them to India -- where they had set out from.

The ruling means they are unable to seek compensation for their month-long detention.

28 Jan 2015 description
report GAVI Alliance
file preview
Key Outcomes Resources Assured for 2016-2020

Support puts Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance on the path to immunise a further 300 million children and save up to 6 million more lives

Berlin, 27 January 2015 – Hundreds of millions of children living in the world’s poorest countries will receive life-saving vaccines as a result of record-breaking financial commitments made today at the Gavi Pledging Conference, hosted in Berlin by German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel.

25 Jan 2015 description

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Representative and Deputy Representative along with the Deputy Director General of the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants’ Affairs (BAFIA), Deputy Head of Mission for the Australian Embassy and Second Secretary from the Japanese Embassy inaugurated Molavi School located in Tabadkan area in Mashhad. The area hosts one of the highest concentrations of refugees of school age in the province (22,000 in Tabadkan out of 47,444 in Khorasan e Razavi province) and one third of all refugee students in Mashhad.

21 Jan 2015 description

Update on the dengue situation in the Western Pacific Region

Northern Hemisphere

China (No new update)

From 9 to 15 December 2014, Guangdong Province reported 44 new cases of laboratory-confirmed and clinically diagnosed dengue, 42.1% fewer than the number of cases reported in the previous week (76 cases). As of 15 December, the province reported 45,171 laboratory-confirmed and clinical cases of dengue from 20 cities.

19 Jan 2015 description
report Amnesty

Amnesty International is calling on the governments of Australia and Papua New Guinea to protect the rights and welfare of asylum seekers currently protesting their detention in the Manus Island Detention Centre.

Hunger strikes

"The authorities must, as far as possible, ensure the health, welfare and safety of protesting detainees, and respect their right to protest peacefully, including through hunger strikes," said Graeme McGregor, Refugee Campaign Coordinator.

18 Jan 2015 description

Sydney, Australia | AFP | Sunday 1/18/2015 - 09:26 GMT

Asylum-seekers in a detention centre in Papua New Guinea said Sunday that Canberra was holding them "hostage" in an effort to deter others from paying people-smugglers to bring them to Australia.

After days of hunger strike protests on PNG's Manus Island, refugee advocates said asylum-seekers were continuing to protest against their 18 months of detention in the offshore location.

17 Jan 2015 description

Sydney, Australia | AFP | Saturday 1/17/2015 - 02:00 GMT

Australia and Papua New Guinea Saturday denied reports that protests at an asylum-seeker camp in the Pacific nation had turned violent, officials and reports said, as hundreds of detainees continued a hunger strike.

Several asylum-seekers held on Manus Island in PNG have swallowed razor blades and washing powder and more than 400 have gone on hunger strike, refugee advocates and reports said.

16 Jan 2015 description

Sydney, Australia | Friday 1/16/2015 - 07:01 GMT

by Glenda KWEK

Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said Friday he was worried about the "volatile situation" at a Papua New Guinea asylum-seeker camp after reports that detainees were swallowing razor blades and washing powder.

Australia sends asylum-seekers who try to enter the country by boat to offshore detention centres on Papua New Guinea and Nauru in the Pacific with no prospect of being settled on the mainland, even if they are genuine refugees.

13 Jan 2015 description

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed on Monday 12th January, 2015, between the Fiji Red Cross Society (FRCS) and the Australian Government’s Fiji Community Development Program (FCDP).

Through FCDP, the Australian Government has committed to a total of AUD50,000 for emergency disaster relief that the FRCS can activate upon request from the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO).

07 Jan 2015 description

ISLAMABAD: The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has begun projects to improve livelihoods and reduce communities’ susceptibility to disasters in Tharparkar, Sanghar and Mirpurkhas districts of Sindh, thanks to a grant of US$2.78 million from the government of Australia. Around 13,200 families will receive cash payments for participation in disaster risk reduction activities.

06 Jan 2015 description

Update on the dengue situation in the Western Pacific Region

Northern Hemisphere


05 Jan 2015 description

Australia will provide a further $5 million of life saving assistance to the people in Iraq, who continue to suffer from ISIL's terrorist activities.

There are now more than 5.2 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in Iraq. Over 2.2 million of these have been driven from their homes due to ISIL terrorist attacks and are living in temporary shelters.

31 Dec 2014 description

Tectonic Plates and Fault Lines

The region is home to extremes in elevation and the world's most active seismic and volcanic activity. Southwest of India, the Maldives has a maximum height of just 230cm, while far to the north, the Tibetan Plateau averages over 4,500m across its 2.5 million square kilometres and is home to all 14 of the world's peaks above 8,000 metres. The Himalaya were born 70 million years ago when the Arabian Plate collided with the Eurasian plate.

31 Dec 2014 description

Volcanic Explosivity in Asia-Pacific

This map shows the density of volcanic eruptions based on the explosivity index for each eruption and the time period of the eruption. Eruption information is spread to 100km beyond point source to indicate areas that could be affected by volcanic emissions or ground shaking.

31 Dec 2014 description

Flood Risk

Risk assessment for an area exposed to multiple hazards requires solutions to compare the risks. This map was generated by adding the value of mortality to the cumulated risk of cyclones, earthquakes, floods and landslides. Categories of risk based on expected annual losses.

This product was designed by UNEP/GRID Europe for the Global Assessment Report on Risk Reduction (GAR). It was modeled using global data.

Credit: GIS processing UNEP/GRID-Europe. http://preview.grid.unep.ch

31 Dec 2014 description

Earthquake Intensity Risk Zones

This map shows earthquake intensity zones in accordance with the 1956 version of the Modified Mercalli Scale (MM), describing the effects of an earthquake on the surface of the earth and integrating numerous parameters such as ground acceleration, duration of an earthquake, and subsoil effects. It also includes historical earthquake reports.

31 Dec 2014 description

Physical Exposure to Drought

Drought is a phenomenon that affects more people globally than any other natural hazard. Unlike aridity, which refers to a semi-permanent condition of low precipitation (desert regions), drought results from the accumulated effect of deficient precipitation over a prolonged period of time.

The units used in this product refer to the expected average annual population (2010 as the year of reference) exposed (inhabitants). The dataset includes an estimate of the annual physical exposure to drought. It is based on three sources:

31 Dec 2014 description

Tropical Storm Risk Zones

This map was derived from the Munich Reinsurance Company's World Map of Natural Hazards and shows tropical storm intensity based on the five wind speeds of the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.