Today I announce Australia will provide a total package of $3 million to assist Solomon Islanders affected by flooding. This funding will continue to assist the Government of Solomon Islands, NGOs and the United Nations to respond to the immediate needs of people affected by the disaster, as well as supporting early recovery efforts.
I have spoken to Prime Minister Lilo today to confirm Australia’s further offer of support, after my phone call to him last Friday when I conveyed the Australian Government’s condolences for the loss of life and devastation caused by this disaster.
The Solomon Islands Government has informed us that this is the worst flood disaster they have experienced in their capital, Honiara. More than 9,000 people are currently being supported in 27 evacuation centres. Extensive damage to roads and other infrastructure has so far hindered efforts to assess the needs of communities outside Honiara.
Of the funding announced today, $2 million will assist in addressing immediate humanitarian needs (including provision of safe drinking water, emergency shelter, food, sanitation and hygiene). This will largely be delivered through Australian NGOs and the Red Cross. Longer-term support will help communities rebuild their homes, schools and health clinics.
A further $600,000 will be for coordination and technical assistance, and other needs as they arise, and for a reconnaissance team to work with RAMSI and Solomon Islands authorities to assess flood damage at the Gold Ridge mine
The $2.6 million announced today builds on the $300,000 for humanitarian supplies and logistics transportation, as well as the $100,000 for the deployment of Australian Civilian Corps engineers and two Australian Government Rapid Response Team members. The ADF has also deployed a 12-person Australian Defence Force (ADF) assistance team, including RAAF assets.
Staff from the Australian High Commission, and Australian Federal Police attached to the RAMSI Participating Police Force, are assisting in relief efforts. We are also working with the Government of Solomon Islands and NGOs to ensure the safety and support of displaced people, particularly the vulnerable, women and children.
The travel advice for Solomon Islands has been updated to reflect the flooding and is reviewed regularly.
- Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
- DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555