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Extra $1 million for Red Cross work in Iraq

17 April 2003 Media Statement

Extra $1 million for Red Cross work in Iraq


New Zealand is to give an additional $1 million to the Red Cross for emergency humanitarian relief work in Iraq, Foreign Minister Phil Goff and Aid Minister Marian Hobbs announced today.

This contribution is on top of the $500,000 that has already been given to the Red Cross as part of the government's $3.3 million package for emergency relief in Iraq, which was announced on March 20.

"New Zealand is keen to work with the international community on humanitarian efforts to relieve the suffering of ordinary Iraqis and to help them rebuild their lives as quickly as possible," Phil Goff and Marian Hobbs said.

"The additional funding to the Red Cross is one of a range of options we're currently considering.

"New Zealand Red Cross is examining the viability of sending a civilian medical team to assist Red Cross operations in Iraq. If that option is deemed viable, the cost will be met out of the $1 million, with the balance going to the International Red Cross. If the medical team is not considered viable, the full $1 million will go to the International Red Cross.

"The Red Cross has been working in Iraq since the conflict began, providing essential medical supplies to hospitals, and emergency supplies of food, shelter and water to the civilian population," Phil Goff and Marian Hobbs said.

New Zealand's $3.3 million aid package included $1 million for the United Nations' World Food Programme; $500,000 each to the Red Cross, UN High Commission for Refugees, and the UN's children's agency, UNICEF; $300,000 for both the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and to the UN demining agency UNMAS, and $200,000 for selected Non Government Organisations operating in Iraq.

ENDS

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