Australia Helps Neighbours with the Floods in the Mekong Region and the Philippines

Media Release

Canberra

18 October 2011

Australia is helping to deliver lifesaving assistance to families affected by the flood crisis in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and the Philippines.

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd today announced that Australia would provide blankets, mosquito nets, hygiene kits, water containers, kitchen sets, sandbags and health services to the eight million people in desperate need across the Mekong and the Philippines.

The contribution of up to $5.15 million will also help repair damaged agricultural land and irrigation systems.

"Widespread flooding from successive tropical storms in the Mekong region of Southeast Asia has caused significant damage and Australia stands ready with the international community to provide further support to our friends and neighbours if needed," Mr Rudd said.

"Transport networks, farms and crops have been badly damaged while flooding in major urban areas has destroyed countless homes. There is also a risk of disease outbreaks because of contaminated water supplies and damaged sanitation systems.

"Australian support will be directed through partner organisations with a track record in providing disaster response and recovery services in the most affected areas and to the most vulnerable people."

In Thailand and Cambodia, Australia will work through the Red Cross to provide food, water, shelter and support for repairs. Last week, in response to a request from the Government of Thailand, Australia provided 100,000 urgently needed sandbags from the World Food Programme to help protect homes and businesses in Bangkok.

In the Philippines, Australian funding will be delivered through the Philippines Red Cross to deliver supplies and provide food and income support through cash for work schemes.

And in Laos, Australian NGOs will help repair damaged irrigation systems and provide seeds to help replant staple food crops.

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