Australian government to ask for US$2.6bn in aid for PNG quake and tsunami

Posted January 05, 2019 14:03:38The Australian government is asking for US $2.60 billion in emergency aid to the country after a massive earthquake and tsunami hit the country on Monday.

The $2 billion package is aimed at helping the stricken country rebuild and rebuild quickly after the devastating disaster, the Australian government said in a statement on Tuesday.

The country’s Minister for International Affairs, Peter Dutton, has asked for US funds for “the urgent rebuilding of the island and to assist affected areas”.

He said Australia’s “strong support” for the PNG Government’s recovery and reconstruction efforts was a “key component” of the package.

“I have asked the Federal Government for US dollars for emergency assistance to help the PNG government rebuild and prepare for the impacts of the earthquake and the tsunami, and I will work with the Government of Papua New Guinea to ensure the funds are used effectively,” Mr Dutton said.

“The Australian Government has also requested the assistance of the United States, and we will work to facilitate such assistance in the future.”

The country is home to about 15 per cent of the world’s population, and has a population of around one million.

The earthquake and its aftermath killed more than 500 people, most of them tourists.

More than 10,000 were evacuated from the capital, Manus Island, and the island’s main airport.

It also caused extensive damage to surrounding villages, roads and bridges.

The damage to Manus, the world-famous tourist destination, was “unimaginable”, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said in his first press conference after the disaster.

“We are in a situation where we have no choice but to go in, we have to rebuild, we are rebuilding in a matter of days,” Mr Turnbull said.ABC/ReutersTopics:earthquake,earthquakes,world-politics,papua-new-guinea


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