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NZ increases humanitarian assistance for Yemen and Syria

New Zealand will contribute $3.5 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross for crucial humanitarian assistance in Yemen and Syria, Foreign Minister Affairs Winston Peters has announced.

“In Yemen, two and a half years of civil war, a stalled peace process, and severe economic decline has resulted in large-scale displacement of the population and near-collapse of essential basic services such as water, sanitation and healthcare.

“An estimated 22.2 million people in Yemen, which is about three-quarters of the population, need humanitarian assistance, including 11.3 million who are in acute need,” Mr Peters says.

“To make matters worse the country is in the grip of a cholera epidemic which has infected over 900,000 people and caused the death of more than 2,200 people.”

In Syria, almost seven years of armed conflict has resulted in the single largest displacement crisis in the world.

“About 13 million people in Syria require humanitarian assistance and protection, including nearly three million people trapped in UN-declared besieged and hard-to-reach areas across conflict lines,” Mr Peters says.

“An estimated 6.1 million people are internally displaced while another 5.4 million Syrians are registered as refugees in neighbouring countries.”

Of the total contribution, $2m will be provided to the ICRC for Yemen to assist with protection, food and livelihood support, water and sanitation and health care, while $1.5m will go to the ICRC for Syria to provide food, hygiene kits, water and sanitation facilities and essential healthcare.

“This takes our overall assistance to Yemen to $4.5m in 2017 and to Syria to over $24m since 2011.”

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