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New Zealand Red Cross Stepping up Aid to Tonga

New Zealand Red Cross Stepping up Aid to Tonga

New Zealand Red Cross is sending an aid worker to Tonga to help in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Ian.

Peter Winthrop of Wellington leaves for Tongatapu tomorrow to liaise with Tonga Red Cross about its needs in the aftermath of the cyclone, which killed one person and injured 14.

Mr Winthrop will be looking at whether supplies of items like tarpaulins, blankets, kitchen sets, hygiene kits and water containers need replenishing, and will be coordinating any other help needed.

He’ll also be liaising with representatives of the New Zealand Government and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies (IFRC) in the region.

The cyclone has displaced about 2000 people who are sheltering in 48 evacuation centres in the Ha’apai island group. Tonga Red Cross emergency response volunteers are currently doing individual household assessments in Foa and Pangai and have started distributing relief to those affected.

New Zealand Red Cross has made $10,000 available for the immediate relief effort, and also has another aid worker Anne-Maree Delaney of Wellington in Suva working on the cyclone response for the IFRC.

Other specialised aid workers are on standby to travel if needed.

Anyone wanting to donate to help those affected by Tropical Cyclone Ian can go to

New Zealand Red Cross does not accept clothing, food or other goods, as they can clog up airports and ports and distract humanitarian workers from more important tasks. Cash is more easily collected, transferred, distributed and accounted for.


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