New Zealand to provide further humanitarian support for Turkey, Syria

by IANS |

Wellington, March 21 (IANS) New Zealand will provide further humanitarian support for Turkey and Syria where devastating earthquakes earlier this month killed more than 57,300 people, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said on Tuesday.

"The earthquakes on February 6 have had devastating consequences, with almost 18 million people affected. More than 53,000 people have died and tens of thousands more have been injured," she said.

This represents the third tranche of humanitarian funding provided by the New Zealand government, totaling NZ$4 million ($2 millio) in order to support those in urgent need in the two heavily hit countries, Xinhua news agency quoted the Minister as saying.

The sum includes NZ$1.4 million to the UN Population Fund to deliver essential healthcare services for expectant and new mothers, and protection services for vulnerable women and girls in Turkey, she said.

New Zealand is also contributing NZ$2.1 million for Unicef's operations in Syria to provide education, water and sanitation, medical care and protection services for children and their families, said the Foreign Minister.

A total of NZ$500,000 in funding will also be made available to accredited New Zealand non-governmental organisations working with their local partners in Turkey to deliver essential relief, she said.

The funding was pledged at an International Donors' Conference in support of the two quake-hit nations in Brussels on Monday, hosted by the European Commission, the government of Sweden and Turkish authorities.

Tuesday's announcement brings New Zealand's total humanitarian funding for the response to NZ$8.5 million.

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