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New Zealand contributes to UN assistance to PNG

Hon John Carter

Minister of Civil Defence

15 December 2008

Media Statement

New Zealand contributes to UN assistance to PNG

New Zealand has been asked to contribute to a United Nations Disaster Assessment and Co-ordination (UNDAC) team responding to extensive flooding in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

UNDAC teams respond to disasters by deploying into affected countries to support the national government and co-ordinate the international response.

Civil Defence Minister John Carter said the UNDAC request was received on Friday and the Manager of Horizons Regional Council’s Emergency Management Office, Shane Bayley, flies out tomorrow morning (Tuesday) to join a four-person team of emergency management experts from Singapore, Israel, and the UN.

As soon as possible, the UNDAC team will be meeting the PNG government to begin supporting the government’s response.

Flooding has been caused by huge “king tides” that have directly affected 100,000 people, of whom already at least 25,000 are now homeless. New Ireland, Manus, Madang, East Sepik and Bougainville are the worst affected areas but flooding and reports of displaced people are being received from other coastal areas also.

PNG’s provincial and central government has responded quickly and effectively, mobilising government workers and PNG military forces, and working closely with companies and non-government organisations. It is calling for international assistance because the huge scale of the disaster will overwhelm local resources.

Further information about the flooding is available on the UN’s website, “reliefweb”

People can find practical information about what they can do to help themselves prepare for an emergency on the Ministry’s “Get Ready Get Thru website


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