Monday, March 4, 2024

Extra $4m for quake victims

Foreign Minister, Nanaia Mahuta, has announced further humanitarian support to those seriously affected by last month’s deadly earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria.

“The 6 February earthquakes have had devastating consequences, with almost 18 million people affected. More than 53,000 people have died and tens of thousands more have been injured,” Ms Mahuta said.

“Today we are confirming a third tranche of humanitarian funding totalling $4m to support those in urgent need.”

This includes $1.4m to the United Nations Population Fund to deliver essential healthcare for expectant and new mothers, and protection services for vulnerable women and girls in Türkiye.

“We are also contributing $2.1m to the United Nations Children’s Fund operations in Syria to provide education, water and sanitation, medical care and protection services for children and their families,” Ms Mahuta said.

$500,000 in funding will also be made available to accredited New Zealand non‑governmental organisations working with their local partners in Türkiye to deliver essential relief. 

“We are saddened to see our friends and partners in Türkiye – a country we have a long-standing and significant relationship with – affected on such a scale.”

“And those impacted by the earthquakes in Syria were already an extremely vulnerable community after living through 12 years of conflict.”

The funding was pledged at an International Donors’ Conference in Support of the People in Türkiye and Syria in Brussels on 20 March, hosted by the European Commission, the Government of Sweden and Turkish authorities.

Today’s announcement brings New Zealand’s total humanitarian funding for the response to $8.5m.

“New Zealand is grateful to the European Commission and Sweden for bringing countries together to mobilise this much-needed support for the people of Türkiye and Syria,” Minister Mahuta said.

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