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Aid agencies welcome government funding for Syrian refugees

Humanitarian aid agencies welcome government funding for Syrian refugees

New Zealand humanitarian aid organisations have welcomed the government’s decision to put funding towards helping the two million Syrian refugees displaced by the conflict.

“Refugees are heading into winter facing appalling conditions and huge uncertainty,” says Dr Wren Green, Director of the Council for International Development (CID).

The government is putting up almost $800,000 with the funding matched dollar for dollar by six New Zealand-based NGOs – Caritas, UNICEF, TEAR Fund, World Vision, Christian World Service and Save the Children – all members of the Non-Governmental Organisations Disaster Relief Forum (NDRF) of CID.

New Zealand aid workers are supporting Syrian refugees in neighbouring Lebanon and Jordan. They are delivering critical relief supplies, psychosocial and healthcare services, providing sanitation stations and working with vulnerable children. Half the refugees are children and the majority of those are under 11 years old.

“There is an urgent need for all sides in this war to respect international humanitarian law and for much greater funding by the international community to continue to respond to the worst humanitarian crisis for a generation,” says Dr Green.

The development agencies have called on the New Zealand government to back all possible means for a peaceful solution for Syria.

For more information on the crisis, or to support the growing number of victims of this conflict, visit the NDRF website: www.ndrf.org.nz

ENDS

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