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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).

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World + 5 others
Adapting to climate change in the Pacific: Knowledge is power

The wealth of knowledge gathered over the past five years under the Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change (PACC) Project is now being shared through a range of newly launched resources. .

The regional project is the first major adaptation initiative covering three components including mainstreaming climate change, a demonstration project and the development and communication of knowledge products. Fourteen Pacific island countries are participant to the project, which targets food production and security, water resource and management as well as coastal management.

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World + 1 other
Australia provides additional funding for Pacific fisheries

Acknowledging that fisheries are of fundamental importance to the Pacific Islands region, Dr Colin Tukuitonga of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) today welcomed Australia’s announcement of an AU $9.6 million funding package for fisheries at the 45th Pacific Islands Forum in Palau. The funding, which will cover a four-year period, particularly targets coastal fisheries development.

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Australia + 3 others
Australia 'offered asylum-seekers lifeboats to go to India'

08/04/2014 04:47 GMT

SYDNEY, August 4, 2014 (AFP) - Asylum-seekers held on an Australian customs vessel at sea for weeks were given lifeboats and told to make their own way back to India, a lawyer for the group said Monday.

The boatload of 157, who lawyer Hugh de Kretser said were mostly Christian Tamils fleeing persecution in Sri Lanka, set sail from India hoping to get to Australia.

"The clients we spoke to were absolutely terrified at what lay ahead for them," said de Kretser, who is executive director of the Human Rights Law Centre.

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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Australia + 2 others
Immigration detention inquiry: Government tried to cover up asylum seekers' mental health problems, inquiry told

By Rebecca Barrett and Karen Barlow

The national inquiry into children in immigration detention has heard evidence alleging a Government cover-up about the scale of mental health issues among child asylum seekers.

Psychiatrist Dr Peter Young was the director of mental health services at detention centre service provider, International Health and Mental Services (IHMS), for three years until earlier this month.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation:

© ABC