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NZ to assist Philippines after devastating storms

New Zealand to assist Philippines after devastating storms

New Zealand is providing emergency funding of $200,000 to assist the relief effort for the hundreds of thousands of people affected in the Philippines by the recent series of typhoons, Prime Minister Helen Clark announced today.

“It is distressing to see the damage and suffering this disaster has caused. It is important that New Zealand steps forward to help, and our contribution to the relief effort will be greatly valued," Helen Clark said.

"The rising death toll from the typhoons stands at over 1000, with many other people injured. It is estimated that 800,000 people could be in need of assistance.

"Many regions have been entirely cut-off by the storms, which is making it difficult for authorities to make an accurate assessment of the casualties and damage.

New Zealand's contribution is being made through NZAID, the Government’s International Aid and Development Agency. The funding will be allocated equally to the appeals of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (ICRC).

“These appeals will fund efforts to assist the victims. A high priority is to evacuate and treat those in the worst affected regions. Then both international agencies and local organisations in the Philippines will work to ensure victims have food, clean drinking water and basic shelter."

“New Zealand understands only too well how natural disasters can damage economic prospects as well as cause human suffering, and we are helping where we can," said Helen Clark.

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