More assistance for refugees and famine victims

Wednesday 20 June 2012, 2:02PM

By Murray McCully


Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully today announced New Zealand will provide $1.75 million in humanitarian aid to crises in Africa and the Middle East.

“The on-going and systematic violence in Syria is of extreme concern to the international community and it is forcing large numbers of people from their homes and into neighbouring countries,” Mr McCully says.

“New Zealand will provide $250,000 to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees in Jordan. This complements our earlier contribution of $1 million to the UNHCR response in Turkey.

“We will also be providing $250,000 to the United Nations Work and Relief Agency for humanitarian assistance to Palestinian refugees in Jordan, including those who have recently fled the conflict in Syria.”

The severe famine in the Sahel region of West Africa continues and New Zealand will be making a further $500,000 donation to the World Food Programme (WFP).

“This will help the WFP deliver urgently needed food assistance in Niger, the country with the largest number of people affected by the famine,” Mr McCully says.

“We have already provided $1 million to the WFP response in Burkina Faso and our additional support recognises the very serious and on-going nature of the Sahel crisis.

“In addition, we will make $750,000 available to New Zealand based non-government organisations (NGOs) responding to famines in the Sahel or the Horn of Africa. This will enable them to scale up existing community-based responses.

“To date, the government has given $6 million to New Zealand NGOs and international agencies responding in the Horn of Africa,” Mr McCully says.