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India extends $1mn to volcano eruption-hit Papua New Guinea

As volcanic eruption hits Papua New Guinea, India announces USD 1 million for immediate relief assistance to support relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in Papua New Guinea.

"India extends deep sympathy to the Government and the people of Papua New Guinea for the damage and destruction caused by the disaster," the Ministry of External Affairs said in an official statement.

A major volcanic eruption Mount Ulawun in Papua New Guinea erupted on November 20 and forced the evacuation of over 26,000 people and created urgent humanitarian needs.

Expressing solidarity towards the people of Papua New Guinea, India extended the relief assistance.

"As a close friend and development partner under the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) and as a gesture of solidarity with the friendly people of Papua New Guinea, the Government of India extends immediate relief assistance to support relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in Papua New Guinea," the statement said.

Ulawun, the South Pacific nation's most active volcano, spewed smoke up to 15km (9.3 miles) in the air on November 20, the country's Geohazards Management Division said, in its first significant blow-up in years, as reported by Al Jazeera.

India has firmly stood by Papua New Guinea during times of crisis and devastation caused by natural disasters, as it did in the wake of the earthquake that jolted the region in 2018 and the volcanic eruption in 2019.

Papua New Guinea sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", an arc of seismic faults around the Pacific Ocean where much of the world's earthquake and volcanic activities occur.

Ulawun has repeatedly erupted since the 1700s and the last significant eruption occurred in 2019 that forced over 5,000 people to evacuate, according to Al Jazeera.

Moreover, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management is an important pillar of India's Indo-Pacific Ocean's Initiative (IPOI) announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November 2019, the statement said.

(ANI)

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