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More Australian Cyclone Aid for Cook Islands

More Australian Cyclone Aid for Cook Islands

Australia will provide $100,000 to help the people of the Cook Islands recover from the recent devastation of Cyclone Olaf, the Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Bruce Billson, announced today.

'Further Australian Government assistance will help restore essential services for locals and clear widespread cyclone debris after the destruction of the super cyclone last Friday,' Mr Billson said.

'The main island of Rarotonga was hardest hit by Cyclone Olaf, causing significant damage on the west coast to critical water, power and telecommunication services.

'Australia will fund the vital transportation of much needed fuel supplies to people on the remote outer islands and support with clean-up operations,' Mr Billson said.

Australian aid officials have been working closely with France and New Zealand under the FRANZ Agreement to help the Government of Cook Islands respond to the natural disaster.

'Australia's increased assistance from an initial contribution of $30,000 will be channelled through NZAID, the New Zealand Government's overseas aid agency, which manages Australia's development program in Cook Islands.

In 2004-2005, Australia increased overseas aid funding by nearly ten per cent to $2.133 billion. Australia's international humanitarian, emergency and refugee programs increased by $13 million to $146 million as part of our continued commitment to respond to disasters, particularly in our region.

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