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NZ to provide further aid to refugees in Sudan

26 April 2005

NZ to provide further aid to refugees in Sudan

New Zealand would provide an additional $4.3 million this year to assist displaced people in the Sudan, and in the fights against polio, malaria, TB and HIV/AIDS, Aid Minister Marian Hobbs announced today.

"A representative from our international aid and development agency, NZAID, visited the Southern Sudan region in March and informed me of the need for immediate funds to support the refugees and displaced people who are returning home," Marian Hobbs said.

"A poor harvest is compounding the effects of years of conflict, and people are facing severe food shortages, to assist the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) needs money now. New Zealand will provide WFP with $1.5 million of immediate funds that can be used to help in Southern Sudan.

"Disease is also a serious threat to the developing world. Because of diseases such as HIV/AIDS people are stigmatised, unable to work; children are unable to attend school and are often left orphaned. Worryingly for the New Zealand, HIV/AIDS is now threatening the Pacific.

"Acknowledging this urgency NZAID will contribute $1.3 million to the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria to support the international fight against these illnesses and their impact.

"NZAID will also provide $1.5 million to the joint UNICEF/WHO/Rotary Global Polio Eradication Initiative to support the strengthened push to eliminate polio. Polio has nearly been eradicated in the world, but a few pockets exist where it is resurging."

ENDS

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