NZ Aid For Afghani Earthquake

  • Simon Upton
Foreign Affairs and Trade

New Zealand will provide $50,000 to assist international relief efforts in earthquake-hit north-eastern Afghanistan, Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Upton said today.

The earthquake, which measured 6.9 on the Richter scale, struck the remote mountainous Hindu Kush region last Saturday and was more severe than the tremors which caused considerable damage in the same area of Afghanistan in February.

"Over 50 villages have been badly affected by the earthquake which has caused widespread devastation," Mr Upton said. "Around 5000 people are believed dead and over 50,000 are homeless."

A number of relief agencies are working to assist survivors, with supplies being flown from Islamabad and Peshawar in neighbouring Pakistan.

Mr Upton said New Zealand's funds, which come from the Official Development Assistance programme, would be contributed through the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which is serving as a channel for immediate relief needs.