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Australia to give more humanitarian Aid to PNG

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has announced a further AUSD 3.4 million package that will bring the total Australian humanitarian assistance to K12.5 million.

Bishop who is on her 6th visit to Papua New Guinea as Foreign Minister said a portion of the funding will go to supporting women, girls and the disable who are most vulnerable in disasters.

On her arrival yesterday she had meetings and was briefed by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and Foreign Affairs Minister Rimbink Pato on the impact of the 7.5 magnitude earthquake that hit Southern Highlands and Hela provinces on 26 February.

She later visited the Australian Defence personnel at the Air Transport Wing and was given a brief by the Australian Defence Force and also Finance Minister and Tari Pori MP James Marape, Southern Highlands Governor William Powi and Immigration Minister and Koroba Kopiago MP Petrus Thomas.

“The devastation that has affected a lot of families and communities and we send our deep-set condolences to those that lost love ones and also to those that have been injured,” Ms Bishop said.

“I am pleased today to announce Australia will be able to provinde additional AUSD3.4 million dollars to help rebuild livelihoods, restore and rebuild infrastructure and also to restore water and sanitation supplies.

This will bring the Australian government’s total humanitarian response 5 million dollars or K12.5 million and we have also been working very closely with the PNG government in making sure that the support is provided to those that most need help.

“I understand that the earthquake and the aftershocks have certainly caused immense damage and it will take some time to rebuild livelihoods. I want to thank the Australian Defence Force and the men and women who are here to assist with the delivery of supplies.

“As you can see we have a RAAF C130 transport plane that has been taking much needed supplies to Southern Highlands and parts of the country affected by the earthquake and we also have three Chinook helicopters to ensure supplies reach the most remote areas. “We also have had an Australian medical assistance team and together with the ADF personnel, representatives from Geo-Science Australia supporting PNG on the seismic activity and NGOs assisting.

“So we stand with solidarity with our brothers and sisters here in Papua New Guinea, we grief with you the loss of life and we are here to work with you to rebuild the livelihoods of those affected by this devastation.”

PNG Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato thanked the Australian government and people for the support they have demonstrated.

“Australia has been PNG’s longest and best friend since Independence and they have been with us always and this friendship has been demonstrated in recent times by the support they have given,” Mr Pato said. Post Courier/PacNews/PNG Today
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