Further assistance for victims of Qaddafi's violence

Media release

Tunis

10 March 2011

The Australian Government today announced an additional $5 million in humanitarian assistance for the victims of the crisis in Libya.

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said the Qaddafi regime's attacks on its own people are causing acute hardship both inside the country and for those who have fled to neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt.

"It was clear from my discussions in Tunisia today that the humanitarian situation risks becoming critical as security deteriorates and shortages of food, medical supplies and other essentials develop,” Mr Rudd said.

It is estimated that over 200,000 people have already fled the violence in Libya across the borders into Tunisia and Egypt.

The UN expects that as many as 200,000 more people will try to leave Libya, and that around 600,000 people remaining in Libya will need some form of humanitarian assistance.

The Australian Government will provide the bulk of the assistance, a total of $4 million, through the World Food Programme to help deliver emergency food aid to vulnerable people in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.

A further $1 million will be channelled through the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to provide emergency medical care to victims of the conflict.

This will bring Australia's total humanitarian assistance to victims of the crisis in Libya to just over $11 million.

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