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Australia offers assistance in the aftermath of Hurricane Tomas

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Australia is providing an initial A$200,000 (US$200,000) in emergency relief assistance in response to the destruction wrought by Hurricane Tomas across the Caribbean in late October.{{more}}

Australia’s High Commissioner to the Caribbean, based in Port of Spain, has spoken directly to Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, and also with St Lucia’s Foreign Minister Earl Bousquet to express Australia’s deep concern for the welfare of all those affected by the hurricane.

The International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) has today launched a preliminary emergency appeal seeking support from the international community to support national societies of the affected countries. In response, Australia will provide $100,000 to the Red Cross for replenishing emergency relief supplies in St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) will receive a further $100,000 to assist with its immediate regional response effort.

Australian officials in Port of Spain are in close contact with CDEMA as well as other donors including USAID, UK DFID, the Red Cross and the UNDP.

In June 2010, Australia provided CDEMA with $1 million to assist in the prepositioning of emergency supplies across the region. This was done within the margins of the Australia-CARICOM Development Assistance Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in November 2009.

Australian authorities are closely monitoring the path of the storm, especially in relation to Haiti which is still recovering from the devastating earthquake it experienced in January 2010 as well as a recent cholera outbreak. Australia stands ready to offer further assistance as appropriate.

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