Refugee service providers (including medical provider PIH) have sent a letter to PNG immigration threatening PNG refugees with eviction from 23 November (see letter here).
“This is the final straw,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, “Home Affairs minister, Clare O’Neil, must act to provide the funds needed to support Australia’s refugees, even if she has to fund the service providers directly.”
Conditions for the refugees have seriously deteriorated over the last three weeks, as refugees have not received any income for food vouchers. Some refugees are trying to survive without electricity.
One refugee whose wife is due to give birth this week, pleaded for help after PIH told him that his wife would not be able to give birth at the hospital without upfront payment.
“The PNG farce has gone on too long. The assurances from PNG CMO Stanis Hulahau that the interruptions to services ‘will be resolved in the very near future’ are worse than a joke. Refugees cannot live on empty promises.
“The Australian government has known for weeks that the funds for refugee services have gone, mired in allegations of the corruption of PNG’s humanitarian program. But it has done nothing to ensure the welfare and safety of the refugees stranded in PNG. Transport services were cut in early October,” said Rintoul.
“Clare O’Neil must immediately provide the necessary funds to end the eviction threat and ensure the refugees have food and medical services. But urgent arrangements are needed to bring all the refugees to Australia.”
For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713