Myanmar

Humanitarian assistance for Burma

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MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
STEPHEN SMITH

AA 84

Australia will provide $15 million in humanitarian assistance for the Burmese people still suffering from the devastation caused by Cyclone Nargis which struck Burma in May 2008.

Cyclone Nargis killed an estimated 140,000 people and severely affected more than two million people.

Australia will make this formal commitment at the ASEAN Post Nargis and Regional Partnerships Conference in Bangkok on Wednesday 25 November which will be attended by key international donors and ASEAN member countries.

As we have done in the past, Australia's assistance will be delivered in close cooperation with international organisations working on the ground in Burma.

This package of assistance includes:

- $7 million over two years to address the water and sanitation needs of the hundreds of

thousands of people struggling to access clean water as the dry season progresses.

- $4 million to improve their food security, especially the thousands of families who rely on agriculture and fishing to survive.

- $2 million to improve access to education services for children who have yet to return to school after the disaster.

- $1 million to support essential maternal and child health services in particularly needy rural and remote areas.

- $1 million of further support for ASEAN's role in the management and coordination of relief efforts.

Eighteen months after the disaster there are still critical needs in cyclone affected areas particularly in sanitation, education and livelihoods.

Australia continues to be one of the largest international donors to the recovery effort following Cyclone Nargis.

This assistance is part of Australia's ongoing commitment to the people of Burma, delivering aid that addresses the needs of Burma's poor and vulnerable.

This assistance also underlines the critical importance of continued access for international humanitarian workers to the affected people in Burma.