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New Zealand aid for Indonesian earthquake relief

25 November 2004 Media Statement

New Zealand aid for Indonesian earthquake relief

New Zealand will help provide shelter, food and basic items to those living in remote areas of Indonesia recently struck by a massive earthquake, Aid Minister Marian Hobbs announced today.

"This earthquake struck in an area where we have close ties through our aid programme. We know it well," Marian Hobbs said.

The death toll from the quake stands at 27, with over 400 injured. Physical damage is reported to be extensive. The earthquake rendered more than 15,000 Alor households homeless out of a total of about 36,000. To date many people are still camped outside their houses fearing further tremors.

"The damage is certainly very serious and many people are suffering due to this disaster, but we can make a difference by moving quickly with our contribution to the broader international effort."

NZAID, the government's international aid and development agency will contribute $50,000 to the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Emergency Appeal.

The appeals will fund relief efforts to provide temporary shelter material, mosquito nets and essential item kits to 4000 of the most vulnerable affected households (approximately 20,000 people).

"In addition to the immediate provision of shelter and food, the appeal will fund further assistance to rebuild, including the distribution of basic building materials and tools," Marian Hobbs said.

The massive earthquake measured 7.3 on the Richter scale and struck nine sub-districts in Alor Island, East Nusa Tenggara province in Indonesia in the early hours of November 12.

"New Zealand understands only too well how natural disasters can wipe out hard-fought economic gains in vulnerable areas and we need to help where we can and keep the world focused on their needs," Marian Hobbs said.

ENDS

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