Foreign Minister Bob Carr and Defence Minister Stephen Smith announced that the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is today delivering AusAID emergency supplies for people affected by Cyclone Evan.
An ADF C-17A Globemaster aircraft departed Amberley Air Force Base this morning with AusAID supplies and is expected to arrive in Suva late this afternoon.
The C-17 is carrying 700 tarpaulins, 200 shelter kits, 1500 water containers, 3000 blankets and 750 hygiene kits including toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, sanitary kits and laundry detergent.
This will support shelter and sanitation needs for around 720 families, provide water for 1500 families and blankets for 3000 people.
This is the first part of a $1 million package of assistance to Fiji announced by Senator Carr yesterday.
$1 million in assistance has also been committed to support people affected by the same cyclone in Samoa.
An ADF C-130J Hercules aircraft carrying supplies to Samoa is expected to depart Amberley Air Force Base tomorrow morning.
The C-130 will be carrying tarpaulins for 430 families, blankets for 600 people and water containers and purification tablets for 4000 families.
Australia’s funding will also support damage assessments in both countries.
In both Fiji and Samoa, houses and food crops have been destroyed, there is severe flooding, and roads, bridges and tourist areas are damaged.
There are at least 13,600 people sheltering in 230 evacuation centres across Fiji.
Australia was very saddened to hear that four people have been reported dead in Samoa, with several still missing, including children.
Australia will continue to monitor the situation and will consider further support for our Pacific island neighbours should it be required.
Imagery is available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/12132318
Minister Smith’s Office: (02) 6277 7800
Senator Carr’s Office: (02) 6277 7500
AusAID Media: 0417 680 590 (interviews available with AusAID Minister-Counsellor John Davidson)