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Humanitarian policy and partnerships

Australia's humanitarian emergency relief supplies

Australia responds to disasters in the Indo-Pacific by delivering timely and life-saving humanitarian emergency relief supplies.

This includes shelter and lighting supplies, support for accessing clean water, and basic hygiene products, cooking utensils and generators.

Australia's supplies can support at least 11,500 families – or 57,500 people. These supplies are kept in warehousing facilities in Brisbane, Sydney and Papua New Guinea. Australia also keeps supplies in the UN Humanitarian Relief Depot in Subang, Malaysia.

The Brisbane warehouse maintains the largest stockpile of prepositioned humanitarian emergency relief supplies within the Pacific region, with the capacity to respond to two simultaneous crises.

In addition to the Australian warehouses, Australia collaborates with its partner humanitarian organisations, such as the Red Cross, which store their own supplies throughout many countries in Australia's region. Australian funds help these organisations ensure that the neediest communities have life-sustaining items in the aftermath of a natural disaster.

Australia delivers humanitarian emergency relief supplies to communities in need. Below are some examples of Australia’s recent emergency responses.

  • 2022: Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai Volcanic Eruption and Tsunami
  • 2021: Typhoon Rai (Odette), and COVID-19 outbreaks in Papua New Guinea and India
  • 2020: Tropical Cyclones Harold and Yasa, the Beirut port explosion and the COVID-19 outbreak in Papua New Guinea
  • 2019: Samoan measles outbreak
  • 2018: Tropical Cyclone Gita
Australian Aid cargo on the docks in front of a ship
(L) The Australian Defence Force often assists with the movement of Australian supplies to countries in need. HMAS Canberra delivered 60 tonnes of supplies to Fiji 2016. Credit: Julie Stalker/DFAT (R) Australia delivered more than 500 tonnes of humanitarian supplies, including 1.1 million water purification tablets, to Fiji following Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016. Credit: DFAT
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