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Australia Prime Minister Morrison Says Govt to Allocate $2Bln Over 2 Years For Bushfire Recovery

© AP Photo / Mark MetcalfeAustralian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks during the unveiling of a Gandhi statue in the Sydney suburb of Parramatta, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks during the unveiling of a Gandhi statue in the Sydney suburb of Parramatta, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018 - Sputnik International
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During this year’s season of bushfires, over 14 million acres of forest have reportedly been burned, destroying animal habitats, plant species and homes. The death toll hit 23 people on Saturday, prompting Australian authorities to deploy some 3,000 reservists from the Australian Defence Forces (ADF) to assist in fighting the calamity.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Sunday that authorities will provide some $2 billion within the next two years for restoration and reimbursement from the disastrous bushfires. Morrison stressed that the sum is not final, adding that further funds may be allocated if needed. according to Reuters.

Last week, Australian authorities launched evacuations in Victoria state, where some 45 bush fires area blazing. Some 4,000 residents in the region were reported forced to immediately leave their homes.

The fires - kicked off in November - have been the result of severe drought and record-setting temperatures in Australia, local media said, citing meteorologists.

This picture taken on December 31, 2019 shows firefighters struggling against strong winds and flying embers in an effort to secure nearby houses from bushfires near the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales.  - Sputnik International
'Go and Get F**ked': Disgruntled Firefighter Scolds Australia's PM Amid Bushfire Inferno - Video
Morrison has come under persistent public criticism for taking his family on a holiday to Hawaii as the wildfire emergency in the country spun out of control - an act that he publicly apologized for.

Wildlife experts have been demanding urgent action to save the remaining habitats of koalas and avoid the extinction of the species.

Currently, over 10 percent of the area covered by national parks in the state of New South Wales, including 20 percent of the UNESCO-designated Blue Mountains, have been decimated by bushfires.

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