Tony Abbott conveys his words of sympathy to the quake-affected Nepalese

Tony Abbott
Tony Abbott, the Prime Minister of Australia

18 June 2015 8:35 PM AEST: Prime Minister Tony Abbott has conveyed his words of sympathy to the chairman of Liberal Friends of Nepal, a wing of Liberal Party of Australia, expressing his support for the people of Nepal.

In the letter, Mr Abbott told Liberal Party’s state director Tony Nutt ‘to pass on to Mr Napit’ his ‘deepest condolences to all those affected by the recent earthquakes in Nepal’.

Shree Napit, a Sydney-based Australian of Nepalese origin, is the chairman of Liberal Friends of Nepal which was established last year.

The letter, signed June 17, is a response from the Prime Minister’s office to Mr Napit’s request to increase Australia’s humanitarian assistance to the quake-rattled Himalayan nation.

Reacting to the catastrophic events, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had announced $5 million as immediate humanitarian assistance on April 26. “It was then that I had requested the Prime Minister to immediately increase the humanitarian assistance because it was not sufficient at all,” Mr Napit told today. He added that as a developed and humanitarian nation, Australia needed to do more than commit $5 million only.

Shree Napit

“No, it is not only because of my request as an individual that the government later increased the level of assistance. I think it was a response to the wider Nepalese community in Australia,” he said when asked if his letter was the sole reason of the government’s increasing of the assistance package.

Australia’s humanitarian assistance to Nepal currently stands at $20 million which is in addition to the regular aid budget of the Commonwealth. Australia will provide an estimated $15.6 million in bilateral aid during 2015-16.  The total Australian Official Development Assistance (ODA) to the South Asian nation during the period will be an estimated $26.8 million.

Mr Abbott’s letter also makes a reference to the ‘broader budget cut’ which did not affect the aid amount to Nepal, “Our bilateral aid programme was also sustained at existing level in the recent Budget, despite a cut to the broader aid budget.”

According to Mr Napit, he had a meeting with the Director of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Michael Hassett, DFAT First Assistant Secretary Jamie Isbister and Member for Barton Nick Varvaris on June 9 during which he briefed them about the effects of the earthquake on the day to day life of the ordinary Nepalese people. He also apprised them about its impact on the Nepalese diaspora here in Australia.

“On behalf of the Nepalese community in Australia, I have strongly urged the Department to increase Australia’s aid budget to Nepal so that the massive tasks of reconstruction and rehabilitation can go on smoothly,” he said.

this article has been updated 18june15 10:40 pm aest

One thought on “Tony Abbott conveys his words of sympathy to the quake-affected Nepalese

  1. Thank you Prime Minister we appreciate your support and concern for Nepal in such a difficult time due to the recent devastating earthquacks!

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