Foreign Minister Bob Carr has announced a further $2.5 million in humanitarian assistance for people affected by conflict in Rakhine and Kachin States in Myanmar and to begin efforts to remove landmines.
More than 115,000 people in Rakhine State remain homeless from ongoing conflict and conditions for people in temporary shelters are deteriorating as the wet season begins.
Australia will provide $1.25 million for shelter, water and sanitation measures, bringing Australia’s total emergency aid for Rakhine State to more than $4.25 million.
Senator Carr said Australia is the second largest bilateral donor to the current crisis and he urged political and community leaders on all sides of the conflict to bring the violence to an end.
Senator Carr said Australia would provide a further $750,000 to support access to clean water and sanitation for people affected by conflict in Kachin State, which has left 75,000 people homeless since conflict began in June 2011.
Australia has already provided $800,000 in emergency aid for Kachin including water and hygiene supplies, small cash grants for food and other essentials and rice and nutritional supplements.
Senator Carr said Australia would provide $500,000 to help Myanmar begin efforts to remove landmines in the country’s south-east.
After 60 years of conflict, Myanmar is one of the most heavily landmine-contaminated countries in the world.
Senator Carr said Australia was proud to extend the assistance to Myanmar to begin the process of mine clearance and to help restore rural lands for safe civilian use.
Australia’s assistance to Myanmar is targeted to make the biggest difference to reducing poverty. Myanmar is one of the poorest countries in South East Asia, with one quarter of its estimated 62 million people live in poverty.
Australia provides immediate support to the people of Myanmar in education, health, livelihoods and governance, and humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable across the country.