MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS, ALEXANDER DOWNER
AA 69 12 November 1999
The Australian Government will provide food aid to help the victims of the super cyclone that has so severely affected the state of Orissa in India.
The food aid, to be delivered through the World Food Program (WFP), will help approximately one million people. The aid will be in the form of a fortified food mix aimed at the most vulnerable groups: children, pregnant women and nursing mothers.
The Government is deeply concerned about the loss of life and property, and the Prime Minister has already written to the Indian Prime Minister conveying the sympathy of the Australian people.
Latest reports estimate that between 5000 and 15,000 people have died, and some 20 million have been displaced. All water sources have been affected in the cyclone-hit areas and there is already evidence of the impact of water-borne diseases. Many coastal districts remain submerged and getting relief supplies into these areas continues to be difficult.
The Australian Government will provide $300,000 for the WFP to provide food aid.
Media contacts: Innes Willox (Ministerial)
02 6277 7500 / 0419 206 890
Gai Brodtmann (AusAID) (02) 6206 4960/ 0412 804 489