On 28 September a powerful magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck Donggala District in Central Sulawesi, triggering a tsunami with waves up to 6 metres, devastating coastal areas including Palu City.
There have been over 1,400 confirmed fatalities and more than 70,000 people are displaced. It is likely that these numbers will increase as the full scale of the disaster becomes clear.
It is estimated that over 190,000 people need urgent humanitarian assistance, and that the lives of more than 1.5 million people have been affected.
Index: ASA 05/8971/2018
30 August 2018
JOINT OPEN LETTER TO THE PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM LEADERS AND OBSERVERS IN THE CONTEXT OF AUSTRALIA’S ABUSIVE OFFSHORE REFUGEE PROCESSING POLICY
The Federal Government has kept its ‘foot on the throat’ of the Australian aid budget, despite its improved revenue, concerns about China’s rising influence in the region and contrasting with the $3.8 billion previously announced loans scheme for arms dealers.
Total aid spending this year will be $4.16 billion in 2018/19 ($3.9b 2017/18) or just 0.23% of national income – and entrenching Australia as one of the lowest aid contributors. Australia now ranks 19th out of the 29 nations that give aid in Gross National Income.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull along with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Trade Minister Steven Ciobo have today launched Australia’s Foreign Affairs White Paper, outlining Australia’s foreign policy priorities for the coming years.
Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Australian Council for International Development, Joanna Pradela, said:
“We welcome the Government’s recognition that Australia’s values are the foundation on which our global engagement rests and are a vital piece of our influence in the world.
Members of Australia’s peak-body for aid and international development non-governmental organisations have called for “urgent humanitarian action” by the Australian Government to immediately cease the cruel, untenable situation which has seen refugees and asylum detained on Manus and Nauru for over four years.