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New Zealand makes contribution to food aid appeal

Rt Hon Winston Peters Minister of Foreign Affairs

27 January 2006

New Zealand makes contribution to food aid appeal

New Zealand would be contributing $400,000 to the United Nations for efforts towards easing the current food crisis in the East Africa, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today.

“Our international aid and development agency, NZAID, has been monitoring the situation in Kenya and surrounding countries and advise the situation is worsening day-by-day. It is important that New Zealand do what it can to help.

“The seasonal rains expected in the region have not eventuated and many areas are now experiencing severe drought. Currently predictions suggest as many as 5.4 million people could be in need of direct humanitarian assistance.

“In arid north eastern Kenya many families are eating just one meal a day and the livestock that many depend on for food are dying in large numbers from exhaustion and lack of water and food. It is clear that providing food aid is the best way New Zealand can assist,” said Mr Peters.

New Zealand’s contribution will be made to the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) for their food aid programme in Kenya.

“New Zealand’s assistance comes at a critical time, WFP have been working in the region for some time, but are concerned an increase in those needing assistance and a lack of international funding could threaten the help they can offer.

“WFP’s programme will provide nutritious food supplies to those affected and also offer special assistance for children. Victims of the drought will also be given assistance to establish their livelihoods as quickly as possible,” said Mr Peters.

New Zealand made contributions totalling $12.3 million to the World Food Programme in the 2005 calendar year, including a one-off $5 million payment for food aid following the tsunami.

ENDS

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