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Published: Sun, November 05, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

United Nations calls on Australia to stop humanitarian crisis at PNG camp

United Nations calls on Australia to stop humanitarian crisis at PNG camp

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (centre) will raise the Manus Island situation with Malcolm Turnbull on Sunday.

The two men described their situation, in which they said they found themselves without basic provisions or medical supplies following the closure of the off-shore detention centre.

Food, electricity and running water were cut off at the detention centre after it officially closed on Tuesday.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says the Federal Government should "immediately provide protection, food, water and other basic services" to 600 men who remain inside the immigration processing centre days after it closed. He says Australia must provide support for refugees to integrate, and certainly has a large enough diplomatic presence in Port Moresby to provide adequate assistance.

New Zealand, which takes a total of 750 refugees a year, made an initial resettlement offer under John Key's Government in 2013 to the then Labor Gillard government.

There was no immediate comment from Australia or its representatives in Geneva.

"We have conveyed to the Australian government and to the local government of Papua New Guinea as well that until the time the accommodation is ready, refugees should not be moved there", UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch said.

"We repeat our overall concerns about Australian offshore processing centres which are unsustainable, inhumane and contradictory to its human rights obligations", Colville said.

"Australia is party to the United Nations" Convention on Refugees and opted for a "solution' that has been unsatisfactory to Manus people, PNG and the refugees of Manus Detention Centre". Among them are about 90 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, about 200 men from Iran, and others from Afghanistan, Somalia and Pakistan. "We have been here for more than four years". "They are starving and their bodies are getting weak".

"UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, today reiterates its call to Australia to stop a humanitarian emergency unfolding on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea", the organisation said in a statement.

Amid reports of various abuses occurring at the camps, notably the one on Manus Island and another one on the Pacific island of Nauru, the policy has been vehemently criticized by the United Nations and human rights activists.

"It's a challenging situation for Australia, they face issues that we don't in New Zealand", he said.

"Australia blocking but has no right to say no", he wrote on Twitter.

Australia entered into an agreement during Barack Obama's administration for about 1,200 of those detained to be resettled in the U.S.

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