Downer Speech: Emergency Assistance for Samoa Niue
Australia Foreign Minister Alexander Downer: Australian Emergency Assistance for Niue and Samoa
I am pleased to announce Australia will make a significant contribution to Niue and Samoa in the wake of Cyclone Heta to help with immediate relief, logistics and assessment requirements.
Cyclone damage on Niue is severe and Australian assistance will address essential relief needs such as water purification, first aid supplies, food, shelter and the restoration of communications.
An Australian aid official is on Niue as part of the New Zealand-led relief mission, and is helping to coordinate assessment and response options with Niuean authorities.
Australia stands ready to extend further assistance to help deal with on-going recovery and rehabilitation activities.
Australian officials are working closely with our New Zealand counterparts to determine and prioritise what additional assistance might be provided.
Australia is also providing immediate assistance to Samoan communities affected by the cyclone.
The cyclone passed near Savaii, Samoa's largest island on Monday 5 January before tracking southeast directly over Niue. In Samoa the cyclone caused widespread damage to food crops and some housing. Power, communications and water supplies have also been affected.
In Samoa, Australian emergency assistance will support the Samoan Government's relief and assessment efforts, and will assist the Samoan Red Cross to purchase tarpaulins, lanterns, chainsaws, building materials, water containers, water purification tablets and first aid supplies.
The Government of Samoa is still to fully assess field reports of damage to communities affected by Cyclone Heta and the Australian Government remains ready to consider further requests for assistance.