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New Zealand to assist following disasters

Hon Marian Hobbs
Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Official Development Assistance)

10 October 2005 Media Statement
New Zealand to assist following disasters

New Zealand will contribute $1 million dollars to international relief efforts following a massive earthquake in Pakistan and mudslides in Central America, Aid Minister Marian Hobbs said today.

"The situation in Pakistan is very serious and there is a great need for the international community to assist in efforts to find the injured and care for the survivors," Marian Hobbs said.

"Our international aid agency, NZAID, will be making an initial contribution of $750,000 to the international relief effort. This money is likely to be spent on essential supplies such as tents, blankets and medicines, which President Musharraf has requested the aid effort focus on.

"New Zealand knows well the devastation large earthquakes can bring and it is important that we help Pakistan and its neighbours as quickly and appropriately as we can.

"My thoughts are with the many Pakistanis and Indians who call New Zealand home and have families in the affected areas. I am aware that the community is already pulling together to raise funds to help those affected and that is great."

New Zealand will also be contributing $250, 000 to relief efforts in Guatemala and El Salvador following Tropical Storm Stan.

"This is a region very vulnerable to natural disasters and we want to help. NZAID is currently assessing the most appropriate humanitarian channel for our assistance," Marian Hobbs said.

An estimated 1400 people are missing after a mudslide buried two small towns in Guatemala whilst El Salvador is struggling to cope with the impact of a volcanic eruption as well as the storm.

Tropical Storm Stan brought high-winds and torrential rains across the Central American region. Currently the death toll is over 600 and many more left injured. Tens of thousands have been left homeless in Guatemala El Salvador, Mexico, and Nicaragua

ENDS

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