AUSTRALIA GIVES SAMOA $700,000 FOR TSUNAMI

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Adds to $24 million provided after last year’s disaster

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 10, 2010) – Australia has given nearly US$700,000 to Samoa to help set up a Volunteer Emergency Response Team to respond to natural disasters like last year’s tsunami.

On his first official visit to Samoa, Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Richard Marles, launched the initiative, which will assist in search and rescue, recovery, sea patrols, water-based medical evacuations and provide first aid support.

The Australian funding will provide specialised equipment, technical, training and help with the establishment of the team.

Mr Marles said Samoa needs to have a well prepared, well trained and well equipped volunteer response team that can quickly swing into action and support the emergency services when required.

Australia provided US$24 million to help Samoa following the natural disaster struck in September last year.

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