Australia providing critical humanitarian assistance to Libya

Media release

Canberra

17 April 2011

The Australian Government today announced a further $10 million in humanitarian assistance to help the victims of violence inside Libya, and the increasing numbers of people fleeing the crisis.

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said the Australian Government supports the Libyan people affected by the violence of the Qaddafi regime.

'Many civilians have no access to basic items such as medical supplies and services or clean water, and around 12,000 people are stranded at border camps,' Mr Rudd said.

'Australia will provide additional humanitarian assistance to reduce their suffering.'

In a meeting with Mr Rudd on Friday night in Abu Dhabi, the interim Prime Minister of the Transitional National Council of Libya, Dr Mahmoud Jabril, welcomed Australia's continued support.

Dr Jabril said there was a crisis in the effective delivery of medical supplies and services, particularly in the north west of Libya. He said many people were dying as a result of untreated injuries.

'The UN also assesses the humanitarian situation in parts of Libya as dire,' said Mr Rudd.

'Australia's support will be delivered through humanitarian organisations including the International Committee of the Red Cross.'

More than 500 000 people are estimated to have fled Libya since mid-February and there are an estimated 1 million internally displaced Libyans.

Both Mr Rudd and Dr Jabril agreed that for the future of Libya, Qaddafi and his family must go. Qaddafi has lost all legitimacy by firing on the people of Libya.

This additional funding brings Australia's total to $25 million. Australia is the third largest donor to the humanitarian effort.

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