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NZ commits to UN emergency response fund

NZ commits to UN emergency response fund


New Zealand is to pledge $US1million a year to the United Nations’ Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.

“The CERF is a key initiative within the UN aimed at improving the timeliness and quality of the international response to an emergency," Mr Peters said.

“For a small country like New Zealand, it is essential that we are part of a collective response to a global emergencies. Our funding pledge to the CERF means New Zealand will play its part when there is a crisis, whether it’s in Africa, Asia or anywhere else in the world.

“The report from UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on the CERF’s first year was extremely positive. He believes the fund has improved humanitarian responses to complex situations such as recent floods in the Horn of Africa, and to the recent conflict in Lebanon.

“With this sort of endorsement, New Zealand is confident that our funding through CERF will help deliver valuable relief to people affected by natural and man-made emergencies.

New Zealand’s contribution to the CERF will be made through the government's international development agency, NZAID.

The formal pledge, which covers three years from 07/08, will be made by New Zealand’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Rosemary Banks, in New York on Friday (Saturday NZT).

ENDS

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