Australia, NZ pledge millions to Papua New Guinea after deadly landslide

Wellington, May 28 (IANS/DPA) Australia and New Zealand have pledged millions of dollars of aid to Papua New Guinea in the wake of a deadly landslide.

Several villages in the province of Enga were hit when part of a mountain collapsed in the early hours of Friday in the remote central highlands of Papua New Guinea.

Papua New Guinea’s disaster agency has said more than 2,000 people could be buried under the rubble.

New Zealand’s Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said on Tuesday the government had approved an offer of practical and financial assistance, worth about New Zealand $1.5 million (US $923,000), to help with the response.

“The landslide in Enga Province in Papua New Guinea is an absolute tragedy. Our thoughts remain with all of those directly affected and the people and government of Papua New Guinea,” Peters wrote on social media platform X.

“The precise nature of our assistance will be shaped by the needs of affected communities, as determined through ongoing discussions with PNG [Papua New Guinea] authorities,” Peters added.

Overnight, Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said it would provide an initial Australian $2.5 million (US $1.6 million) in humanitarian assistance.

“As a close neighbour and friend, we will be doing all we can to provide support,” he wrote on X.

The Australian Defence Force was working closely with its counterparts in Papua New Guinea, Marles said. “This work is yet another demonstration of the close partnership between our nations and militaries.”

–IANS/DPA

int/sha

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