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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: Australia
31 August 2006



MEDIA RELEASE
MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
ALEXANDER DOWNER




AA 06 054
31 August 2006
Australia Boosts Humanitarian Assistance to Middle East

I am pleased to announce that Australia will provide an additional $3 million in humanitarian relief and recovery assistance following the recent conflict in the Middle East.

The latest funding will take Australia's total contribution to date to $10.5 million.

We will direct $2 million to four United Nations organisations which are at the forefront of immediate recovery efforts in Lebanon.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will receive $500,000 for its Quick delivery - high impact fund which finances activities including key infrastructure repairs, debris clearance, oil spill clean-up and restoration of public administration.

Both UNICEF and the World Health Organization will receive half a million dollars for priority medical and health interventions.

We will provide $500,000 to the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) for removal of unexploded ordnance.

Australia will also commit $1 million to UNICEF for emergency health assistance in the Palestinian Territories, which have been severely affected by the conflict.

We will decide on further long term reconstruction assistance once needs assessments have been finalised by the Government of Lebanon and international agencies.

Australia has previously provided $7 million to assist the immediate assistance programs of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the WHO, World Food Programme and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Lebanon.

We also provided $500,000 to the Magen David Adom society to help victims of the conflict in Israel.

Australia remains deeply concerned about the loss of life and destruction of infrastructure and property caused by the conflict.

We strongly support the efforts of the United Nations and the Governments of Lebanon and Israel to work towards a sustainable and durable ceasefire.

Media contacts:

AusAID Public Affairs 0417 680 590

Tony Parkinson (Mr Downer's Office) 02 6277 7500



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