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Australia bushfires: What countries have offered international aid?

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Australia bushfires: What countries have offered international aid?
Copyright  Rick Rycroft, AP   -   Rick Rycroft
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Many countries have committed to help Australia as it fights massive blazes that have raged through the country for months.

But while a state of emergency was declared in New South Wales at the end of December, the country has still not officially called for international aid.

As Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been heavily criticised for his management of the crisis, many countries have begun offering extra personnel to help.

Neighbouring countries

New Zealand responded quickly to the disaster, sending 157 firefighters and personnel to the country as early as October.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on January 3 that the country would send 22 more firefighters and three helicopters to help out.

"I’ve been in contact with the Australian PM again this week to share our support and to offer whatever we can to help. Australia stood by us through some horrific moments in 2019, and we’re here to do the same," Ardern wrote in a Facebook message.

She said it was devastating to watch from afar.

The prime minister of Papua New Guinea, an island nation located to the north of Australia, said on January 5 that the country would send 1,000 soldiers and firefighters if the Australian prime minister requested.

See below a map of wildfires active in the country:

Other assistance

The United States sent 100 American firefighters in early December, 44 forest service and wildfire personnel on December 30 and another 21 on January 4.

Canadian firefighters also joined the effort with leaders recalling the help Australia provided when wildfires spread in Canada.

"I have communicated with my Australian counterpart to reiterate that we are prepared to consider further assistance as necessary. When wildfires spread through Canadian communities, Australia answered our call for help. We are proud to do the same," Canadian foreign affairs minister François-Philippe Champagne said in a statement.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau echoed the statement in a tweet:

French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Monday that he had called Morrison to offer aid to "fight the fires, protect the population, and preserve biodiversity."

Others have also volunteered to help such as firefighting departments in Belgium and in the French area of Isère.

Singapore offered helicopters to help combat the wildfires, aid that the Australian prime minister welcomed.