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Govt boosts contribution to Himalayan Trust

Govt boosts contribution to Himalayan Trust

Prime Minister Helen Clark today marked Summit Day and the fiftieth anniversary of the conquest of Everest by announcing a significant increase in the government’s annual grant to Sir Edmund Hillary’s Himalayan Trust.

Helen Clark said the Cabinet had agreed to increase the annual grant paid to the Trust through NZAID, the New Zealand agency for international development, to $290,000.

The New Zealand aid programme has generally contributed $40,000 annually to the Trust, though this amount has sometimes been higher.

Helen Clark said it was important not only to recognise the life and work of Sir Edmund Hillary, but also to ensure that the work of the Himalayan Trust can continue.

The Trust was established by Sir Edmund in 1965 to assist the Nepalese people with the building and upkeep of schools and hospitals in remote areas.

The Trust receives the bulk of its funds from private supporters and organisations.

“It is fifty years today since New Zealand’s Ed Hillary and Nepal’s Tenzing Norgay climbed to the top of Everest and made history. Fifty years on Ed is still creating a legacy through the work of his long-standing Himalayan Trust,” Helen Clark said.

“In supporting the work of the Himalayan Trust through its aid programme over the years, New Zealand governments have built an effective partnership with both Ed Hillary and people he has dedicated himself to helping.

“The Trust is helping to make a difference to the lives of people in remote parts of Nepal, which is why NZAID’s annual grant is being raised to $290,000 a year.”

“From the beginning, the Trust has encouraged community participation and self-reliance for the Sherpa people, while also offering New Zealand expertise. I am sure that that model of partnership has been the secret to its success.

“The new funding will continue to support the Trust’s health and education initiatives in Nepal with a particular focus on the Solu Khumbu region, home of the Sherpa people.

“As well as assisting with health and education projects in Nepal, New Zealand aid funding has gone towards a teacher training initiative in 1997, the upgrade of an airstrip, and the refurbishment of the visitors’ centre at the Sargamatha National Park in 2001.

“By significantly increasing the NZAID contribution to the Himalayan Trust, we can help to ensure that the commitment Sir Ed has made to improving the lives of the Nepalese people will endure,” Helen Clark said.

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