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New Zealand responds to Philippines mudslide

Rt Hon Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs

20 February 2006
Media Release

New Zealand responds to Philippines mudslide disaster

New Zealand will provide $200,000 to assist the international rescue and recovery effort following the massive mudslide that has destroyed the town of Guinsaugon on Leyte Island in the Philippines, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today.

“This is a terrible event and our sympathies go to the people of the Philippines.

“New Zealand’s contribution will be made through the International Red Cross who have appealed for $2 million from donors so they can mobilise people and supplies. It is important New Zealand does what it can to assist," said Mr Peters.

“This area of the Philippines is very remote and difficult to access due to poor roads and limited transport and communications links. Despite these difficulties, rescue teams are working around-the-clock to locate any survivors of the disaster.

“It is likely New Zealand’s funding will be used to assist those who have survived the disaster. Many survivors are badly injured and must now face the reality that their homes, jobs and schools have been destroyed.

“By working with the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) New Zealand can help fund the purchase of emergency health kits and medicine and the costs of mobilizing volunteers to assist in the recovery efforts by the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC).

“The PNRC has an excellent reputation and is the Philippines most-proven disaster response agency. We are confident that they are the best-placed to respond on behalf of New Zealand,” said Mr Peters.

Recent monsoon rains triggered the massive landslide early on the 17 February. Reports indicate that 1,500 people are missing, with 200 confirmed dead. The total population of Guinsaugon is estimated at 2500.


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