Peters announces additional cyclone aid to Myanmar

Thursday 24 July 2008, 6:23PM

By Rt Hon Winston Peters


New Zealand will provide a further $2 million for ongoing relief efforts in Myanmar, announced Foreign Minister Winston Peters today.

"It is estimated that more than 2 million people have been severely affected by Cyclone Nargis," said Mr Peters.

"Our government initially contributed $1 million to UNICEF for relief activities to assist women and children and $800,000 to New Zealand non-government organisations for a variety of disaster recovery activities.

"We have waited to commit further funding until the completion of a thorough needs assessment and progress on access issues for international aid workers had been made. These conditions have now largely been met and relief efforts are proceeding well.

"Of the $2 million New Zealand is contributing, the World Food Programme will receive $600,000 and the United Nations Development Programme $1.4 million. These agencies are trusted partners and will help ensure our assistance gets to those who need it most.

"The World Food Programme is co-ordinating the storage and delivery of a wide range of humanitarian materials for the UN and other international agencies.

"The United Nations Development Programme is the lead agency for economic recovery and will operate a number of activities aimed at restoring livelihoods and helping families get back on their feet. The agency has a long history of working in Myanmar and is experienced in post-disaster programmes," said Mr Peters.