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NZ aid pledge already paid to UN

Hon Phil Goff - Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

12 January 2005

NZ aid pledge already paid to UN

New Zealand has already paid in full the $3 million it has so far pledged to the United Nations tsunami relief aid fund, says Foreign Minister Phil Goff.

Mr Goff was responding to concern expressed by Jan Egeland, Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, that only $300 million of the $3 billion pledged to the UN had so far been received by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

"We have met our initial pledge speedily to ensure that the money was immediately available to assist with urgently-needed disaster relief work," Mr Goff said.

"Following Cabinet consideration next Tuesday, the Prime Minister intends to announce an enhanced package for tsunami relief, including through the UN. That will also be paid promptly. “I can also confirm that most of the $5 million that the government initially allocated to matching public donations has been paid to the 25 eligible fund-raising groups.

"The government has also indicated that it intends to continue to match dollar for dollar donations from members of the public to approved aid organisations.

“Moving swiftly to allocate these funds shows our support for the public’s efforts and for the work of these organisations, both small and large, to carry out urgent relief work in the affected region.

"An additional $500,000 payment to the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Appeal has also already been made."

"The enhanced package of tsunami relief to be considered by Cabinet next Tuesday will be commensurate with New Zealand's role as a small nation, the generosity of New Zealanders and the scale of the disaster," Mr Goff said.

ENDS

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