New Zealand will provide a further $5 million in relief assistance to pressing humanitarian crises across Africa and the Middle East, Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced.
“An estimated 45 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance across South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria and Yemen, of which 20 million face starvation and famine,” Mr Brownlee says.
“Conflict and insecurity have exacerbated drought conditions, causing widespread humanitarian need.
"New Zealand will provide $2 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross in Yemen and Nigeria, and $2 million to the World Food Programme in South Sudan and Somalia.
“Not only will this provide emergency food assistance, it will also help fund food security initiatives such as school meals for children.
“We will also provide $1 million to support the International Committee of the Red Cross in Syria, where an estimated 13.5 million people are in need of assistance due to continuing conflict.
“The aid will go towards providing household items, as well as providing healthcare to the sick and wounded.
“The funding will also go towards training female heads of households so they can start income-generating activities.
“In each of these countries, the World Food Programme and International Committee of the Red Cross will be providing life-saving relief assistance in areas including emergency food, water, and healthcare to those who need it most.
“This announcement brings New Zealand's assistance to relief efforts across South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria and Yemen to more than $7 million since the beginning of March.
“It also brings New Zealand’s total assistance to the Syria regional response to $27 million since 2012,” Mr Brownlee says.