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NZ to support UNICEF in the Pacific

16 February 2005

NZ to support UNICEF in the Pacific

New Zealand has signed an agreement to contribute $2 million to a United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) initiative designed to benefit children in the Pacific, Aid Minister Marian Hobbs announced today.

"Children are often the most vulnerable members of communities and this is a real opportunity to make a difference in the lives of Pacific children," Marian Hobbs said.

"This contribution, made through NZAID, our aid and development agency, will support initiatives such as vaccinating children against preventable diseases, preventing the transmission of HIV/AIDS from mothers to children and teaching life skills to adolescents.

"I am pleased to announce this programme, as it is a tangible result of NZAID’s work to build successful partnerships that make a difference in the Pacific.

"The relationship between NZAID and UNICEF Pacific is excellent with a high level trust. I expect that this foundation will result in some significant steps forward for child health in the Pacific.

"Fourteen Pacific island countries will benefit from this contribution, including the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

"Under the agreement, signed in Suva, NZAID, will support UNICEF Pacific’s programme for the next three years. New Zealand has financially supported UNICEF Pacific's programme since 1997 and both organisations have collaborated on Early Childhood Education in the Pacific over the past 18 years."

ENDS

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