Subject: ABC: Aust to increase agricultural aid to East Timor


Last Update: Wednesday, April 19, 2006. 1:34pm (AEST)

Aust to increase agricultural aid to East Timor

Australia's direct involvement in rebuilding East Timor with agricultural aid is set to increase.

The Australian Ambassador to East Timor says more than $40 million will be invested in aid this year, with agriculture representing $1.5 million.

Margaret Twomey says a new proposal aims to improve water harvesting and sanitation for remote communities across the rugged nation.

"And we are now in talks with the Government and specifically the Prime Minister about a much bigger, more ambitious program, that would last up to 10 years, cost somewhere up to $50 million, to get clean water and sanitation to 80 per cent of the people in this country," she said.

"We are here for the long haul. The issue here is not so much one of needing funding, it is one of technical expertise and assistance and being a near neighbour, we are always going to be here and engaged in doing that."

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