Australian humanitarian aid for Indonesia and Africa

from Government of Australia
Published on 20 Nov 2002

AA 02 069

Australia will contribute $10 million to a United Nations humanitarian appeal for Indonesia and $2.5 million to help feed victims of famine in Ethiopia and Eritrea.

The contributions were announced today by the Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Mrs Chris Gallus, at the global launch of the UN's 2003 Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP).

Australia's contribution for Indonesia will go towards education and peacebuilding programs in post-conflict areas, operational costs of UN humanitarian programs and for purchase and transport of Australian rice as food aid for vulnerable groups.

Funds for Ethiopia and Eritrea, and the Australian rice aid for Indonesia, will be contributed through the World Food Programme (WFP).

'At its core, humanitarian assistance addresses a fundamental responsibility we all share,' Mrs Gallus said during a launch ceremony at Parliament House, Canberra.

The 2003 Appeal was launched by the UN Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Mr Kenzo Oshima, who is the UN's Emergency Relief Coordinator.

Mrs Gallus said Australia had been chosen as a host nation for the 2003 global launch because of its record as a donor.

'Australians contribute generously to humanitarian needs, especially in the region, through our official aid program and through philanthropic organisations,' she said.

Since 1996, Australia has contributed $285 million globally for humanitarian work by the UN, while the total of Australian emergency assistance to Indonesia now stands at more than $107 million.

'The main focus of Australia's overall overseas development program, of course, has been the Asia-Pacific region,' Mrs Gallus said.

Media contacts:

Craig Bildstien (Office of Mrs Gallus) 0407 604 437
Jo Elsom (AusAID) (02) 6206 4960 or 0412 804 489