New Zealand To Give Extra $500,000 To UNHCR

  • Simon Upton
Foreign Affairs and Trade

New Zealand is to make a special one-off contribution of $500,000 to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Acting Foreign Minister Simon Upton announced today.

Mr Upton said New Zealand's contribution, which is in addition to its $1.35 million annual allocation to UNHCR, was in recognition of the unprecedented pressure being placed on the UN agency's resources over the past few months.

"The numbers of people fleeing wars and other disasters has unfortunately continued to increase. There are now more people facing the deprivation of a refugee existence than there have been for many years," Mr Upton said.

"UNHCR figures show almost 23 million people were identified as refugees or displaced people in 1997. While New Zealand's grant is only a small amount of the $US1 billion UNHCR estimates it needs to assist these people, I think it is very important that we do what we can to help UNHCR respond to their plight."