Foreign Minister Murray McCully has announced New Zealand will donate NZ$3 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in response to an urgent international request for increased humanitarian assistance in Africa.
“The United Nations has named the situation in Africa as the worst humanitarian disaster in the world. The crisis is predicted to continue well into 2012,” Mr McCully said.
“New Zealand’s direct support for the ongoing humanitarian crisis now totals close to NZ$6 million, with NZ$2 million committed to World Food Programme and almost NZ$1 million to New Zealand non-government organisations earlier this year."
“Our contribution to the ICRC will be targeted to Somalia where humanitarian needs are most pressing. The ICRC is already working closely with the Somali Red Crescent,” the Minister said.
“The ICRC and Somali Red Crescent are two of the few agencies able to operate in southern and central Somalia due to intense civilian conflict."
“Rates of severe malnutrition among infants in Somalia are the highest in the world,” Mr McCully said.
“This additional NZ$3 million will help address malnutrition and health concerns of children and their mothers, provide food to one million people and safe drinking water."
“New Zealander’s generosity in response to the humanitarian crisis should also be applauded, with over NZ$3.5 million already donated through public appeals,” Mr McCully said.
For a full list of available Horn of Africa public appeals visit http://ndrf.org.nz/what-you-can-do/make-a-donation