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NZAID Confirms $3 million dollar aid payment

07 January

NZAID Confirms $3 million dollar aid payment

NZAID, the Government aid and development agency, today confirmed a payment from New Zealand of $3 million to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) Flash Appeal for the Indian Ocean tsunami which was launched yesterday.

“As part of New Zealand’s $10 million package of immediate humanitarian relief to Asia, a contribution to UNOCHA is an effective way to ensure aid reaches those who need it most,” NZAID Executive Director Peter Adams said.

“As the international community has acknowledged, the easy part is pledging the money ensuring it is paid in full and on time is more difficult. Considering this, NZAID thought it timely to announce this payment had been made.”

“The specialised agencies of the United Nations know the area well and are already on the ground working to make a difference. They have the expertise and relationships in place to coordinate quickly to help the victims of this disaster.

“New Zealand is a member of the UN and we are keen to support it at times like this when a coordinated international response is vital. Small countries, like New Zealand, are often not in a position to manage such a large-scale response effort. UNOCHA is working with other UN agencies to help those in need.”

“This special contribution in a time of great humanitarian need builds on the regular annual funding New Zealand provides to UN agencies. These regular contributions ensure that these agencies are ready and able to act effectively in disaster situations”, Peter Adams said.

The flash appeal aims to raise close to US$1 billion to fund the on-going response to the disaster in Indonesia, Maldives, Seychelles, Somalia, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

“The reality of this disaster is that predominately poor communities have been affected. These people are already living on marginal land, which has now been completely destroyed, and have lost the few assets they possessed.

“The focus of the UN is initially as simple as keeping people alive and ensuring those affected have the necessities of life; food, shelter and clean water.

“An example of this is happening right now in India where UNICEF have worked closely with the government and local communities to ensure that food, water and medicines are reaching the outlying areas, and that there will not be an epidemic.

“This will develop, however, to supporting the recovery in a range of areas such as agriculture, sanitation, transportation, health and security.

“The scale of this relief effort is unprecedented and there are no quick-fixes. It is likely that agencies such as the UN and other agencies will be working in the region affected for years to come”, said Peter Adams.

ENDS

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