Australia To Donate $7.25 Million For Samoa Cyclone Aid

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Foreign minister says aid will support long term recovery

By Sean Dorney

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, April 30, 2013) – Australia and Samoa have signed an aid agreement to help in construction efforts from a cyclone that ripped through the Pacific nation last year.

The donation of almost AU$7 million (US$7.25 million) will be used to help rebuild schools and medical facilities in Samoa damaged by Cyclone Evan in December.

It is estimated the cyclone caused AU$200 million (US$207 million) worth of damage.

There were four confirmed deaths in Evan's aftermath and another 11 people are still missing, presumed drowned.

Australian Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, visited the devastated areas in February this year.

He says the Australian government decided to offer further financial support after the full impact of the cyclone on Samoa's economy became apparent.

"Immediately after the disaster we provided AU$1.65 million [US$1.7 million] in immediate relief support," he said.

"We're now going to provide an additional AU$7 million to support long term recovery."

Senator Carr says the aid will enable more than 5,300 students to return to their studies, and provide 25,000 people with easier access to healthcare.

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