Media release 24 November 2011
AWPA calls on the Government to help with food shortage in West Papua
Intan Jaya district of West Papua (letter below) . Media reports indicate that thousands of Papuans are suffering from a lack of food for the past four months . The report said that19 villages in Homeo, Intan Jaya district, Papua, have been suffering from a lack of food and the people have been forced to eat tubers from the forest to survive. Australia is one of the best resourced countries in the region and we urge the Government to offer assistance to the Papuan Governor for those affected by the food shortages. West Papua is one of our nearest neighbours.
Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
PO Box 28, Spit Junction, Sydney, Australia 2088
Director General Peter Baxter
AusAid, GPO Box 887
Canberra , ACT 2601
24 November 2011
Dear Director General,
We understand that AusAid only responds to requests for aid from governments. However , many people have died in the past in droughts and famine in West Papua and we urge you to offer aid to the Indonesian Government for the villages in the Intan Jaya district. Media reports have stated that up to 19 villages in the district have been effected by the crop failures. The Australia Government has in the past supported drought relief in the highlands of West Papua.
We note that Prime Minister Julia Gillard has offered to support Indonesia in disaster relief and will give four C-130 Hercules - worth an estimated $30 million - to Indonesia for disaster relief and humanitarian work in an agreement struck in Bali between the Prime Minister and the Indonesian President. As Australia is one of the best resourced countries in the region we urge you to offer assistance to the Papuan Governor for those affected by the food shortages.
 AWPA (Sydney) uses the name “West Papua” to refer to the whole of the western half of the Island of New Guinea.