NEW ZEALAND AID FOR TURKISH EARTHQUAKE

  • Simon Upton
Foreign Affairs and Trade

New Zealand will make a contribution of $250,000 to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to support relief work following the disastrous earthquake in Turkey on 17 August.

This was announced by the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hon Simon Upton, today. The funds will come from the Disaster Relief allocation in New Zealand's Overseas Aid programme.

Mr Upton said that the earthquake was a disaster of great magnitude with a reported death toll of 2,000 and many injured and serious damage to services. The New Zealand grant would help the Red Cross mobilise immediate relief efforts in cooperation with the Turkish authorities. The grant will be channelled through the New Zealand Red Cross to the International Federation which has launched a preliminary emergency appeal for 10 million Swiss Francs (about NZ$14 million) to purchase food, blankets, tents and fresh water for people affected. These supplies are available locally but the scale of the needs is beyond the capacity of the Turkish Red Crescent Society to meet on its own.

A message of sympathy and condolences was being sent from the New Zealand Government to the Turkish Prime Minister.

Mr Upton said that at this stage no reports had been received of any New Zealanders being involved in the disaster. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade was in touch with the New Zealand embassy in Ankara and the Consulate in Istanbul who were liaising with the Turkish authorities to establish whether any New Zealand citizens might be amongst the casualties.