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$1 million to humanitarian relief for Afghanistan

2 October 2001 Media Statement

NZ gives $1 million to humanitarian relief for Afghan people


Prime Minister Helen Clark and Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs Matt Robson announced today that New Zealand will contribute $1 million to the United Nations Consolidated Appeal for Afghanistan.

The announcement follows the launch of a co-ordinated United Nations international appeal for humanitarian relief in Afghanistan by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on 27 September.

Following the 11 September terrorist attacks against the United States and the increased turmoil in Afghanistan, the United Nations and aid agencies have stepped up their efforts to seek humanitarian assistance for Afghan citizens.

The United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) expects the number of Afghan citizens requiring emergency assistance to climb from five million to 7.5 million in the coming months.

“The United Nations considers that Afghanistan is facing a humanitarian crisis of catastrophic proportions. New Zealand is committed to working with the whole international community to help alleviate the crisis,” Helen Clark said.

“This contribution aims to assist Afghans within Afghanistan and in camps in neighbouring states through the provision of food and emergency nutrition, water, sanitation, and supplies of shelter.”

“Our contribution comes from the disaster relief allocation of our Official Development Assistance programme,” said Matt Robson.

New Zealander Ross Mountain, an experienced United Nations official, has been appointed to manage the UN task force which is addressing the humanitarian crisis affecting the Afghan people.

ENDS

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