The Australian government will provide an additional AU$2.2 million of assistance for ongoing relief and early recovery in nutrition, education, child protection and UXO clearance for affected communities in Attapeu province.
The additional funds will be used to set up child friendly spaces and temporary training centres, conduct nutrition assessments, and provide basic food supplies, according to the Australian Embassy to Laos.
The additional assistance will bring Australia’s total commitment to AU$3 million and be delivered through the framework of United Nations agencies and international NGOs to support the Lao government.
The commitment was confirmed by the Australian Ambassador to Laos Mr Jean-Bernard Carrasco when he met Minister to and Head of the Prime Minister’s Office Mr Pheth Phomphiphak on Friday.
Mr Carrasco stressed that the additional funds would be used in response to the tragic collapse of the saddle dam at the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy hydroelectric project in Attapeu province on July 23.
“We think of the families and communities affected in this sad incident and we are proud to be supporting the Lao government in its leadership of recovery and relief efforts,” said Mr Carrasco.
“We continue to work closely with the Lao government and other development partners to ensure supplies are being distributed in an effective and timely manner.”
Mr Carrasco said Australian’s initial assistance package commenced delivery within five days after the disaster occurred, with three Royal Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster aircraft landing with supplies worth AU$800,000 at Pakxe International Airport on July 27 and 29, and August 25.
The emergency relief included family tents, community tents, dignity kits for women and girls, mosquito nets, street solar lights, tent solar lights, tool kits, and birthing kits.
The Australian government has not only provided assistance to help relief efforts for affected people in Sanamxay district, but has also deployed two experts to support the coordination of international response to the flooding.
Mr Pheth thanked the government of Australia for its continued support for the development of Laos, especially in providing support for flood victims in Attapeu province by giving them essential supplies and equipment.
Australia and Laos have a long and close friendship built over 66 years of unbroken diplomatic ties. The relationship is underpinned by close people-to-people links, strong business ties and a development cooperation programme worth around AU$42 million a year.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update September 3, 2018
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