Australia provides support to displaced people overseas
Thursday, 03 May 2012
The Federal Government has allocated more than $7 million towards overseas assistance projects supporting displaced and vulnerable people overseas, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, said today from Sri Lanka.
Mr Bowen, who is on a five–day visit to India and Sri Lanka, said funding was allocated for 15 projects, including five projects supporting displaced Sri Lankan people through improved health services and provision of shelter and protection.
'The government's Displaced Persons Program (DPP) focuses on improving the lives of displaced people across the globe, with more than $2.7 million this financial year going to assisting displaced Sri Lankans,' Mr Bowen said.
'The Australian Government is committed to helping people overseas return to their homes safely after fleeing dangerous situations.'
'By improving the quality of life for people in their home countries, this funding also helps to remove the incentive for people to pay people smugglers and attempt dangerous boat journeys to Australia.'
'Through this program, international and non–governmental organisations have been funded to implement a range of projects that look to long–term solutions for refugees and displaced persons.'
'Only this week I visited one of the projects we have previously funded in New Delhi that helps refugees in India gain skills and employment, and saw first–hand the positive impact this program can have.'
Among the organisations to receive funding for their proposed projects are the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), CARE Australia and ChildFund Australia.
The 2011–12 DPP is focused on assisting displaced persons with their basic needs, through projects such as the one operated by ChildFund Australia, which provides food security by supporting farm–based livelihoods for vulnerable people.
'Australia continues to show its strong support for vulnerable and displaced people through vital programs such as this,' Mr Bowen said.
The 2011–12 Displaced Persons Program projects include:
- ChildFund Australia – $535 508 to assist internally displaced Sri Lankans
Strengthening farm–based livelihoods and food security of returnees
The goal of this project is to provide displaced persons and returnee populations of the Kilinochchi district in Sri Lanka with livelihood support for their economic recovery and stability through improving farm–based livelihoods and ensuring food security. The aim is to assist 2350 families to re–establish agricultural farming as a steady source of food throughout the year.
- IOM – $551 019 to assist internally displaced Sri Lankans
Enabling health protection in northern Sri Lanka
This project aims to strengthen fragile health systems in northern Sri Lanka by providing transportation of health workers (especially to remote and marginalised sites), six hire–ambulances to provide 24–hour emergency care, and rehabilitation of two health facilities.
- CARE Australia – $677 531 to assist internally displaced Sri Lankans
Developing livelihoods and life skills of youth in northern Sri Lanka
This project aims to improve the socio–economic wellbeing of youth in northern Sri Lanka by providing 900 young men and women with increased access to skills development and employment opportunities. In partnership with local government and community service providers, this will result in improved community access to a range of services.
- Act for Peace – $463 116 to assist internally displaced Sri Lankans
Protection, advocacy and assistance for returnees to northern Sri Lanka
This project will provide identity documentation for 22 000 returnees, shelter assistance for 50 families, and livelihood support for 150 families. Several self–help community groups will also be formed to provide and identify relevant training suitable to the region, aimed at providing long–term stability.
- Danish Refugee Council – $509 658 to assist Sri Lankan Tamils in India
Protection and livelihood assistance for Sri Lankan refugees living in camps in Tamil Nadu, India
This project aims to increase protection for refugees – in particular women, girls and youth – and to enhance their livelihood opportunities through skills development. It will also improve the shelters of 50 vulnerable families, repair 40 latrines and provide for improved water distribution systems to at least seven camps.
- CARE Australia – $619 728 to assist Iraqis in Jordan
Jordanian community assistance to Iraqi refugees
This project aims to address the immediate needs of displaced Iraqis through the provision of basic items such as mattresses, blankets, clothing, sanitary materials and food parcels (for 1000 households or 3800 individuals), vocational and livelihood training (for 500 individuals) and counselling services (for 1500 individuals).
- CARE Australia – $600 000 to assist internally displaced Afghans
Ghazni Livelihood Enhancement Project for returnees and those vulnerable to displacement
This project's aim is to contribute to stability and reduce the risk of displacement by supporting sustainable livelihood opportunities in Afghanistan. The project will directly reach 585 individuals and indirectly benefit 3510 people through distribution of livelihood assets, income generation, skills building, and improved access to markets and credit in rural and urban areas.
- IOM – $468 177 to assist Rohingyas in Thailand
Reducing the vulnerability of Rohingyas through community outreach, and increasing their access to social and health services
This project aims to support displaced Rohingya populations in Thailand by up–scaling three drop–in health centres to Community Resource Centres, facilitating meetings and joint activities between migrant community based committees and local government authorities, providing vocational and life–skills training to improve levels of employment and economic wellbeing for 40 youths, and improving health and social services.
- IOM – $800 000 to assist Afghans from Pakistan
Post–arrival assistance to vulnerable Afghan returnees from Pakistan
This project enables better emergency response to Afghan refugees returned from Pakistan, and includes upgrading of border reception facilities, provision of transportation and other services to 3600 families, and provision of family Non Food Item kits for 1500 families.
- University of NSW – $345 375 to assist African refugees in Kenya
Building services and support to improve the identification and protection of at–risk refugee women and girls in Dadaab, Kenya
This project provides support to refugee women and girls by strengthening community–led psychosocial services. By working closely with the UNHCR, implementing partners, local community workers and refugee communities, the project aims to provide relevant training on psychosocial support issues identified by the refugee population, and establish support centres in Dadaab camps.
- UNHCR – $534 007 to assist Iraqis in Jordan
Assistance to persons with disabilities and provision of information on refugee rights
This project is designed to assist 351 refugees with disabilities, including the elderly, improving their wellbeing and independence, including through the equipment, physical therapy and emotional support, as well as by providing training on refugee rights.
- IOM – $500 000 and $150 000 to assist Afghan returnees
Two projects for emergency transport and accommodation, and upgrading and equipping processing and accommodation facilities
These projects provide emergency funding for transport and accommodation assistance to vulnerable undocumented Afghan returnees from Iran, as well as upgrading processing and reception facilities.
- UNHCR – $234 000 for refugees in Malaysia
To assist with the increased resettlement of refugees moving from Malaysia to Australia
To support the processing in Malaysia of 1000 additional refugee referrals per year to Australia.
- Minister's Council on Asylum Seekers and Detention (MCASAD) – $46 227
Scoping study in transit countries
This project engaged with governments and non–government organisations in transit countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, on irregular migration and displaced and vulnerable people.
Last update: Thursday, 03 May 2012 at 14:06 AEST