• Simon Upton
Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

New Zealand is donating NZ$200,000 to provide relief supplies following the powerful cyclone which struck eastern India last week, Associate Foreign Minister Simon Upton announced today.

The donation will go towards the Red Cross appeal and comes from the Disaster Relief allocation in New Zealand's Overseas Development Assistance programme.

Mr Upton said the cyclone was the worst to hit India's Bay of Bengal coastline in three decades, with winds reaching up to 260kph.

"The cyclone has devastated the state of Orissa. Thousands have been killed; at least 1.5 million people have been left homeless, and up to another 10 million people have reportedly been affected in some way." Mr Upton said.

He said the United Nations had mobilised a team to assist UN agencies in India with damage assessment, and to coordinate international disaster relief.