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Thursday, 28 June 2007

Australia gives another $7m aid to Palestinians
[As Millions of Africans starve to death]

Sydney Morning Herald - June 27, 2007

Australia is to provide $4 million in emergency aid to the Palestinian government, plus $3 million to help refugees in Gaza and Lebanon.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, now visiting the Middle East, said Australia's contribution to the emergency Palestinian government would provide essential supplies to keep hospitals open and children in school.

Mr Downer supported Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's decision to form an emergency government with Salam Fayyad as prime minister following the violent Hamas takeover of Gaza.

"The formation of the emergency government presents a valuable opportunity to revive the peace process and ensure that the actions of violent extremists do not derail the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people," he said in a statement.

Mr Downer said he welcomed the comments of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who said the emergency government would be regarded as a partner for peace.

Australia would continue to engage with the emergency Palestinian government to promote peace and provide humanitarian assistance, he said.

"Australia remains deeply concerned by the humanitarian situation in the Palestinian Territories, particularly Gaza, following the recent violence," he said.

The humanitarian assistance includes $2 million in emergency food aid for an estimated 158,000 refugee families in Gaza and $1 million for food, health services, housing, water and sanitation services for 27,000 Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.

The new contributions will lift Australia's assistance to Palestinian refugees since July 2006 to $23.2 million.

Mr Bagel: Well $23.2 million in one year for Palestinian refugees [2007] and the latest figure I could find $72.6 million from Australia to Sub Saharan Africa in one year [2004] covering a population of 300 million people living on less than a $1 a day.

Australian aid to Africa

Australia is a very charitable country per head of population, in fact few countries would give more aid per head of population. Australia makes a significant effort around the pacific rim with countries facing humanitarian crisis, but never the less, you can't ignore that Australia is spending 23.2 million dollars in aid to the Palestinians, and $72.6 million in aid to the areas indicated in Africa.
This area has over 300 million people earning less than $1 a day.

Where's the parity? Where's the logic? Are Palestinians starving more than Africans?

If we take for example the United Nations report 'Refugee Nutrition Information System' which is published every year it states quite clearly:

Every year, thousands of individuals are displaced from their homes and homelands because of wars, political conflicts, and natural disasters. The Refugee Nutrition Information System (RNIS) was established in 1993 to collect data and report on the nutrition, health, and survival status of the most nutritionally vulnerable people in the world, including refugees, internally displaced populations, and those who are forced to migrate.

These girls are among more than four million Palestinian refugees in Gaza Strip and the West Bank. A recent report from the Refugee Nutrition Information System found Palestinian refugees to be satisfactorily coping with the nutritional impacts of the latest Intifada.

These refugees were displaced by years of warfare in their own countries. ..
I'm not advocating that Palestinian Refugees shouldn't be helped or receive aid, but surely its wrong the way Countries prioritise the simple comfort of Palestinians over the survival of African Refugees? Don't the UN facts speak for themselves?

Australia gives $7m aid to Palestinians
Ausaid Map and Africa Figures: Africa Frame Work [PDF]
Australian Government: Overseas Aid
Australian Government: Africa and Middle East