Australia is a regional leader in responding to natural disaster and humanitarian crises, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, minister for international development and the Pacific, has indicated in a statement.
“Australia’s humanitarian assistance helps to save lives and alleviate suffering in the aftermath of natural disasters and humanitarian crises and makes an important contribution to regional security,” Fierravanti-Wells said.
The minister said: “Within 48 hours of a disaster, Australia can deliver emergency relief supplies, deploy response teams, and fund partner organisations to provide life-saving assistance.”
Fierravanti-Wells went to Darwin last week 6-7 October, to meet with organisations that are leading Australia’s efforts in assisting countries in the Indo-Pacific region prepare and respond to natural disasters.
In a statement, the minister highlighted the role of key humanitarian organisations in Australia’s regional humanitarian and disaster-relief efforts.
One such relevant organisation is the Australian Medical Assistance Team (AUSMAT), which includes the country’s top medical specialists. AUSMAT has provided immediate care for thousands of victims of regional crises, including Cyclone Winston in Fiji earlier this year and Typhoon Haiyan which ravaged the Philippines.
The National Critical Care Trauma Response Centre, the Royal Darwin Hospital, and the Menzies School of Health Research, also provide the Indo-Pacific region with vital health assistance.
Also critical to Australia’s advocacy of reaching out to disaster-prone countries in the region is the role of the Bureau of Meteorology, which is responsible for tracking cyclones and other weather events, which helps Australia and neighbouring countries prepare for and respond to natural disasters.