New Zealand has made an initial emergency contribution of $20,000 to the Fijian emergency relief appeal launched today in Suva, announced Phil Goff, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Marian Hobbs, Minister responsible for NZAID.
"This initial contribution has been made to the Cyclone Ami relief fund in Fiji, and will pay for the immediate provision of medical supplies and water purification equipment for Vanua Levu and surrounding outer islands.
"Cyclone Ami and subsequent flooding has affected fresh water supplies and destroyed villages and crops on parts of Vanua Levu, the Lau Island group and other outer islands.
"Immediate provision of emergency food, medical and water purification supplies are urgently needed.
"Other donors will also be contributing to this emergency fund. We welcome British and French statements that they will join New Zealand and Australia in providing assistance to the Fijian government," said the Ministers.
"I have also written to my counterpart Foreign Affairs Minister Kaliopate Tavola, expressing New Zealand's condolences for the lives lost in Cyclone Ami. Eleven deaths have been confirmed and authorities in Fiji expect this could increase to thirty after more detailed assessments have been undertaken on the islands", said Phil Goff.
Later today Fijian officals will brief donors on additional requests for assistance as information continues to flow from the affected Islands regarding the extent of damage caused by Cyclone Ami. New Zealand will consider further requests for assistance positively.