MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Jan. 6) - The United Nations has deployed a disaster assistance and coordination team to two cyclone-hit islands in the Solomon Islands.

The two-person team will liaise with national and international agencies to help determine the requirements of the 1,200 people affected by Cyclone Zoe.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has already provided a $US10,000 emergency grant for relief supplies and will continue to provide updates on the situation.

Australia has announced it will fund a third relief shipment to the area, after recently sending two boats laden with medical and food supplies.

The cyclone struck the island nation ten days ago, causing widespread damage on the islands of Tikopia and Anuta.

Radio Australia also reports that World Vision has launched an appeal hotline in Australia for the cyclone ravaged Solomans.

The aid organization says the latest assessment from Tikopia shows there is near total devastation, with almost no houses standing, families sleeping on the beach and all food crops destroyed.

January 7, 2003

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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