South Asia: Second report on Australia's response to tsunami disaster
I am delighted to announce the release of the second report on the progress of Australia's response to the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster.
Australia remains committed to assisting countries affected by the tsunami -- the most severe and extraordinary natural disaster of modern times.
The Australian Government's immediate humanitarian commitment of $60 million was fully spent by 30 June, primarily in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and Seychelles and, to a lesser extent, in Thailand and India.
The Government's additional reconstruction allocation of $8 million to Sri Lanka was also fully spent by 30 June.
Further funds have been committed to the reconstruction effort -- a long term endeavour.
According to the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) the total value of private donations through ACFID member organisations stands at more than $340 million.
Australia's aid community, both the Government and ACFID member organisations, are keen to ensure money is not wasted.
The Government recognises the complexities involved in rehabilitation and reconstruction and is not rushing to spend in haste -- a view shared by Australian NGOs.
The second report gives a detailed account of Australia's spending in response to the tsunami disaster, and summarises the delivery of the Government's $1 billion package under the Australia Indonesia Partnership for Reconstruction and Development (AIPRD).
To date $280 million has been allocated to reconstruction and development projects under the AIPRD.
This means 56 percent of the grant money under the AIPRD has been allocated.
I would like to acknowledge the presence at today's event to release the second report of representatives of ACFID, the Australian Red Cross, CARE Australia, Caritas, Oxfam Australia and World Vision.
Chris Kenny (Mr Downer's office) 0419
AusAID (Public Affairs) 0417 680 590