Ambassador Richelle Turner

The Australian government is also setting up its role in Palau to ensure the community is prepared when it comes to disasters, Ambassador Richelle Turner told reporters last week.

“So another aspect of work that Australia undertakes across the region is around disaster preparedness. And that’s preparedness at the family level, at the community level, and at the government, state, and national government levels,” she said.

  Ambassador Turner told reporters here attending the Natural Disaster reporting training on Tuesday said Australia is committed to assisting Palau and other Pacific nations to get ready for disasters. 

The media reporting training was made possible through the Pacific Media Assistance Scheme (Pacmas) Australian Aid, ABC’s Pacific Prepared, and Palau Wave Radio support. 

Turner said that Australia is also focusing its assistance globally and has been working with civil society such as the Australian Red Cross and the Palau Red Cross to bring in humanitarian support especially after the Typhoon Surigae devastation in April. 

 “So in terms of the funding side of things, we do have a humanitarian funding envelope that I reached out to through for typhoon Surigae and that’s very much where we might need to look at funding as an option. Because it’s just more efficient, effective than actually trying to get stuff up here quickly, or people up here quickly, and look at supporting those who are on the ground and have that local context and understanding of how people have actually been impacted.” She added.

Australia, she said have also assisted Palau in COVID-19 responses, providing emergency supplies and equipment to deal with the crisis very early on last year.

“So we funded 10 ventilators and 15 cardiac monitors, and they were shipped over here in March of last year, so it was great to have those on the island, “she added. 

 The ambassador stated that Australia has also provided $90,000 to the Ministry of Health to assist preparedness efforts to deal with COVID-19. 

 Australia also provided $15,000 to the Palau Red Cross Society to support the Ministry of Health with a community campaign around COVID-19 awareness. 

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