World rallies for Australian flood victims

Media release

18 January 2011

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd today again thanked the many world leaders and nations who have offered Australia assistance during the flood crisis.

Mr Rudd said people from across the globe have been driven to respond as they have seen the immense magnitude and devastation wreaked by the flooding.

Our embassies and high commissions around the world have been overwhelmed by the sheer number of calls from local people who have heard about the floods and were moved to convey their condolences and ask how they can assist.

From the largest nations like China and the United States, to near neighbours New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia, through to the smallest countries such as Timor Leste and Bhutan, the plight of the hundreds of thousands of Australians displaced and affected by the ongoing floods has touched people around the world.

"The world and the Australian public have rallied in the great Aussie spirit of mateship to give a helping hand to those affected by this still unfolding natural disaster," said Mr Rudd.

New Zealand generously provided an emergency response team that arrived during the first days of the Queensland flood.

A number of countries and international businesses have also offered specialist recovery assistance that could help affected communities recover after the water has receded.

Mr Rudd said many Australian embassies and high commissions, together with ex-pat communities, are organising fundraising benefits over the coming month and as part of their Australia Day celebrations.

Fundraising events were held this past weekend in New York and Honiara, with Los Angeles hosting a benefit this week as part of the G'day Australia week celebrations. Further events are planned in Chicago, Shanghai, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Hanoi, Taipei and Hong Kong.

"Whether it is closest neighbours or the furthest reaches of the world, we have been humbled by the good will and generosity offered to our country during this difficult time. "

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