Australia gives $5m in aid to Indonesia after earthquake
Australia will send more than 50 medical professionals to Indonesia to help with the aftermath of a devastating and deadly earthquake as part of a $5 million aid package.
Friday's disaster in central Sulawesi has killed more than 1200 people, prompting Australia to send emergency healthcare support to the region. "We will be working very closely with the Indonesian government to make sure that the support we are providing is highly targeted," Foreign Minister Marise Payne told reporters in Washington overnight.
Australia is considering further support for the disaster, with the death toll expected to rise and millions affected by the crisis.
"I understand that there are significant challenges from liquefaction, so solid earth turning effectively into quicksand," Senator Payne said. "That makes movement and engagement very difficult." Senator Payne has been in contact with her Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi and Prime Minister Scott Morrison is continuing talks with President Joko Widodo about possible further support.
"That will be considered on a case-by-case basis," the foreign minister said. The latest package is on top of $500,000 given to the Indonesian Red Cross for the most obvious emergency aid needs, such as tarpaulins.
Mr Morrison said it was a "very, very significant crisis" and Australia's support won't only be aimed at short-term relief.
"The sort of responses we are going to be making, won't just deal with what is needed right today, but over some period of time as well," he said.