Australia is providing urgent humanitarian assistance to the people of Fiji following severe floods that have caused several deaths and damaged homes, roads, hospitals, schools and crops, Foreign Minister Bob Carr said today.
"On Monday I announced Australia would provide up to $1 million to help people in the worst-affected areas of Fiji.
"As weather conditions settle, Australia will send 350,000 water purification tablets, 2,000 water containers and more than 3,000 tarpaulins to Fiji.
"These items will be distributed to affected communities by Fiji's National Disaster Management Office and Ministry of Health."
Senator Carr said Australia would also provide immediate financial assistance to the Fiji Red Cross and UNICEF to assess the damage and replenish essential water and sanitation supplies, medicine, clothing and shelter. These organisations have now started to deliver these goods to communities that can be reached.
This support follows Australian assistance for a helicopter used on Monday and Tuesday by international aid agency Act for Peace to conduct aerial surveys of flooded areas to assess damage and the needs of affected communities.
"Australia will continue to work with partners in Fiji as the water recedes and the scale of the disaster becomes clearer," Senator Carr said.
"We will also look to support longer-term recovery and reconstruction, including helping Fiji to repair critical infrastructure, health clinics and schools.
"As a neighbour, Australia has always been committed to providing humanitarian support to the people of Fiji. Providing urgent relief assistance is consistent with our aid policy, which commits Australia to deliver assistance where it will most benefit the people of Fiji."
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