Australian will provide an additional $2.7 million to its tsunami relief assistance package to Solomon Islands following the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Western and Choiseul Provinces.
This brings Australia's total contribution to tsunami relief to over $5.7 million
The additional funds will go to the Solomon Islands Ministry of Health to assist with rehabilitation of essential health infrastructure in Western and Choiseul Provinces which bore the brunt of the disaster.
The damage from the tsunami had a devastating impact on health infrastructure. Of the 52 health clinics in the affected area, 15 need to be entirely rebuilt and 19 face substantial repairs. A new health facility is required to replace Sasamunga hospital; and the Helena Goldie hospital in Munda needs urgent repairs.
In addition, many of the 300-plus Ministry of Health employees were displaced from their homes with more than 70 staff still living in makeshift camps in Gizo alone.
The additional funds will supplement Australia's $3 million contribution to emergency relief provided immediately after the 2 April disaster.
To date Australia's contribution to tsunami relief has included transport of emergency relief supplies including tarpaulins, water containers, rope, blankets, emergency medical supplies, camp beds, tents, and safe play equipment for children via C-130 transport plane and commercial charter.
Australia also supported a three-day health assessment team visit, and provided a seven-member SOS emergency medical response team and two medical units and three environmental health specialists from the Australian Defence Force to assess damage to water and sanitation systems.
In addition, Australia contributed $750,000 in assistance to non-government organisations to assist with housing rehabilitation and repair of essential infrastructure.
Australia is pleased to have been able to provide immediate support to Solomon Islands following the tragic events in which 52 people lost their lives and thousands were left homeless.
Australia remains committed to assisting the longer term recovery of Solomon Islands.
Malcolm Cole (Mr Downer's Office) 02
AusAID Public Affairs 0417 680 590