The Australian Government is taking a leading role in assisting countries throughout the Pacific region to respond to El Nino-related drought.

We will provide up to $500,000 in additional support to North Pacific countries, building on the $9 million Pacific drought assistance package announced last year.

This funding will focus initially on the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), where a state of emergency has been declared. Almost 12,000 people are affected by severe water shortages, which could lead to disease outbreaks and crop failures. The Australian Government will provide $200,000 to deliver essential water storage, desalination units and hygiene kits across the country.

Australia’s support will be delivered through the International Organization for Migration, a key humanitarian partner in the region. A disaster expert from the Australian Civilian Corps will also deploy to RMI to assist coordination of response efforts.

The North Pacific region is expected to be in drought for many months. Australia is working closely with other North Pacific countries to monitor the situation and have an additional $300,000 on standby for further assistance.

This new funding complements Australia’s existing support across the North Pacific, which includes providing education on disaster risks, water supply and sanitation advice, seasonal forecasting, solar-powered desalination units and household water tanks.

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