Foreign Minister announces further humanitarian support for Ukraine

New Zealand is providing more humanitarian aid to support people in Ukraine, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.

“Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine. New Zealand will be providing an additional $4 million in funding to support Ukrainian communities,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

“Russia is causing a massive humanitarian crisis, with over 2.8 million people fleeing from the invasion in Ukraine to neighbouring countries. Reports also show over 1.8 million internally displaced within Ukraine following Russia’s attacks on humanitarian corridors and the targeting of innocent people, hospitals, schools, homes and civilian infrastructure.

“This funding is in addition to the initial $2 million we have already provided and will help those immediately on the ground while we continue to look at options for further support,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

Aotearoa New Zealand is providing $2 million to the United Nations’ Ukraine Humanitarian Fund. The fund works with a range of UN agencies and NGOs to meet the most urgent unmet humanitarian needs through the provision of healthcare, food aid, clean water, shelter and other humanitarian assistance for millions of people inside Ukraine.

New Zealand is also providing $2 million to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to help fund the protection and assistance it is providing to the millions of Ukrainians fleeing to neighbouring countries.

“We are appalled at the egregious human rights abuses occurring in Ukraine, particularly Russia’s attacks on humanitarian corridors, and the targeting of civilians,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

“We call on Russia to urgently ensure safe passage for civilians away from the conflict and to take all possible steps to protect civilians in line with international humanitarian law. Russian forces must halt attacks against civilians and civilian objects, and cease their indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks.

“Russia must also ensure the safety and security of neutral and impartial humanitarian organisations, and facilitate their access to communities in urgent need of humanitarian assistance,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

Alongside other diplomatic measures, New Zealand has responded to Russia’s hostility by instituting travel bans, export controls, passing the Russia Sanctions Act 2022, and providing an initial $2 million in aid funding to support crucial humanitarian work.

The Government today also announced the 2022 Special Ukraine Policy which provides new temporary visas for offshore family members of Ukrainian citizens and residents in New Zealand.