New Zealand is providing immediate humanitarian aid to Ukraine, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.
“Aotearoa New Zealand stands by the people of Ukraine impacted by Russia’s unprovoked invasion,” Ms Mahuta said.
“It is deeply disturbing to hear reports of the growing numbers of deaths and injuries from this conflict. The harrowing and horrific images of displaced, or suffering civilians, in Ukraine speak volumes of this unfolding tragedy, and underlines the consequences of Russia’s unprovoked aggression.”
The Minister said New Zealand will provide an initial $2 million to help deliver essential humanitarian assistance, with a focus on supporting health facilities and meeting basic needs such as provision of food and hygiene items.
“These are early days and we will continue to monitor events closely as the scale of the conflict, and the resulting humanitarian crisis, becomes clearer. We know the consequences of Russia’s actions will be significant, and tragically many of these will fall on innocent civilians.”
“We repeat our call, alongside international partners, for Russia to cease military operations in Ukraine, and immediately and permanently withdraw to avoid a catastrophic and pointless loss of innocent life.
“Russia must take all possible steps to protect civilians in line with international humanitarian law, and return to diplomatic negotiations to de-escalate the conflict,” Ms Mahuta said.
New Zealand also provides annual funding to the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund, which has announced it has allocated $20 million to help humanitarian agencies scale up their Ukraine response.