Australian aid for peace-building, humanitarian efforts

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 30 November 2004, 15:44 GMT]
Australian Government is to provide $4M aid to support projects in peace building and humanitarian efforts, a media release from Australian Embassy in Colombo said.

Full text of the media release follows:

The Australian Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Bruce Billson MP, who recently visited Sri Lanka, announced new projects valued at over A$5 million (US$4 million) to support Sri Lanka's peace-building and humanitarian efforts.

Mr Billson announced that this additional funding will support mine action programs carried out by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD), as well as humanitarian assistance in the north and east by UN agencies.

During his visit, Mr Billson inspected a major Australian-funded sewerage treatment plant in Hikkaduwa and mine action projects in Jaffna.

'Australia remains committed to the provision of aid to address urgent needs in Sri Lanka and to support efforts to achieve a lasting peace', Mr Billson said.

Background

The Hikkaduwa Costal Zone Waste Management Project, to which Australia is contributing A$3.2 million (US$2.5 million), will dramatically reduce pollution in the coastal zone around Hikkaduwa. A sewerage treatment plant has been constructed which will process waste water from hotels and homes in the areas.

New Australian mine action funding will be channelled through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD). FSD will receive A$1 million (US$790,000) to support mine surveying and clearance operations in Vavuniya and Mannar. A contribution of A$550,000 (US$434,500) will support UNDP's Mine Action Program.

A further A$1 million (US$790,000) will be channelled through the UNDP Transition Programme to fund local small-scale infrastructure in the conflict-affected eastern districts of Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampara.

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) will receive A$2.5 million (US$2 million) to help rebuild schools and provide 'catch-up' education for conflict-affected children and also help young landmine victims resume their education.

In the current year, Australia is providing $23 million (US$18 million) in humanitarian and development assistance in Sri Lanka.

 

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