The Australian Government will provide up to $1 million for innovative emergency supplies to save lives and provide relief during humanitarian crises.

This new initiative will encourage Australian industry to identify innovative products that can help people in the aftermath of a disaster.

The Government will work with industry to design and test new products, with a focus on helping people access clean water and energy. Successful products will then be stocked in our warehouses to enhance Australia’s humanitarian relief supplies.

This announcement follows the Pacific Humanitarian Challenge, which I launched in November 2015 with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP.

These initiatives are designed to ensure Australia remains a leader in providing humanitarian assistance.

Australia’s humanitarian supplies are a cornerstone of our international emergency response and can be deployed within 48 hours after a disaster. They provide affected communities with temporary shelter, access to safe drinking water, essential hygiene products and more.

Following Cyclone Pam, which devastated Vanuatu nearly one year ago in March 2015, these supplies provided urgent assistance to more than 13,000 displaced people.

Australia has a strong record of providing timely and effective humanitarian support to our neighbours. The annual Pacific cyclone season is well upon us and Australia stands ready to provide rapid assistance if disaster strikes our neighbours in the Indo-Pacific – one of the most disaster prone regions in the world.

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