This week in New York I expressed Australia’s condolences to Caribbean Foreign Ministers for the loss of life and destruction caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with all people affected by the devastation.

The storms’ deadly and destructive impact has been felt in Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Cuba, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico, Puerto Rico, St Martin and the Turks and Caicos.

The Australian Government will provide $2 million to enable trusted humanitarian partners to deliver urgent assistance including water, power and food to affected communities in Caribbean states.

Australia has also deployed a civilian specialist into the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Haiti to help coordinate assistance for pregnant women and other vulnerable women and girls.

This funding is in addition to the annual contribution of $11 million that Australia makes to the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund, which earlier this week committed US $10 million to the Caribbean relief effort.

Our Consulate in New York, High Commission in Port-of-Spain and Embassy in Washington continue to monitor the situation in the Caribbean closely.

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