Govt Gives $2.2 Million To Aid Agencies

  • Simon Upton
Foreign Affairs and Trade

New Zealand will contribute a further $950,000 from the overseas aid programme to assist refugees who have fled Kosovo, Acting Foreign Minister Simon Upton said today.

The money, which will support the work of five New Zealand agencies in the Balkans, is part of a larger grant of $2.2 million the Government has made to New Zealand agencies currently involved in emergency relief work in several parts of the world.

"The money we have earmarked for Kosovo refugees will support the work of New Zealand agencies World Vision, Tear Fund, Save the Children Fund, Christian World Service and Caritas," Mr Upton said.

The Minister said funding would be channelled through partner organisations in Albania, Montenegro and Macedonia and would help provide refugees with essential emergency supplies. Trauma counselling would also be supported.

"The Government's contribution to the work of New Zealand agencies recognises the vital role of voluntary organisations on the ground in the crisis area, and the tremendous out-pouring of support by ordinary New Zealanders," said Mr Upton.

"However, while the focus of attention is currently on Kosovo, we mustn't lose sight of the fact that serious emergency situations exist in several other parts of the world," he said.

"Accordingly, an additional $1.25 million has been contributed from the New Zealand Official Development Assistance programme to support work by Oxfam NZ, Corso, Christian World Service, Caritas, World Vision and Save the Children Fund in other current hotspots. This covers emergency programmes in Indonesia, East Timor, Honduras, Burundi, Sudan, Ethiopia, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo."