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Thursday, October 1

$1million to Samoa, Tonga for emergency relief

New Zealand is providing an initial $1million donation for immediate disaster relief efforts in Samoa and Tonga, Foreign Minister Murray McCully announced today.


"This initial contribution will help the governments of Samoa and Tonga to provide essential supplies and personnel to help those in need following the earthquake and tsunami," Mr McCully said.


"The money will also go to organisations such as the Red Cross and other New Zealand NGOs who are already delivering aid in affected areas.


"Right now, the focus is on medical and other critical humanitarian aid to ensure survivors are cared for, and basic needs such as shelter, food and water are met.


"A first tranche of emergency supplies and personnel from New Zealand arrived in Samoa this morning. We are continuing to coordinate with Australia, France, and the international community on how we can best respond to the needs of Samoa and Tonga.


"Both Samoa and Tonga are great friends of New Zealand. Our links at a personal level are especially strong, and I know all New Zealanders will be saddened as the scale of this disaster begins to emerge.


"The New Zealand Government will help in any way possible during this difficult time. From initial assessments, it is clear there is going to be considerable recovery and reconstruction needs, and we are committed to offering substantial assistance.


"It is also clear that many New Zealanders want to make donations to the various appeals which have now been established. Giving a cash donation - no matter what size - is really the best sort of assistance New Zealanders can provide at this time," Mr McCully said.


Mr McCully said the government was urging New Zealanders concerned about family members in Samoa or Tonga to try making contact with them directly. However people who had failed to make contact and had concerns for the safety of relatives should call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 04 439 8000, with as many contact details as possible.


Appeal information:


Oxfam NZ: Donations at 0800 400 666. Instant $20 donation by phoning 0900 600 20


Adventist Development and Relief Agency NZ (ADRA): 0800 4999111


World Vision NZ: 0800 800 776


Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand: 0800 22 10 22 or Pacific Tsunami Appeal, Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand, PO Box 12193, Wellington 6144.


Rotary New Zealand: Donations via internet banking Westpac 03 1702 0192208 02 or cheques can be made payable to RNZWCS Limited and posted to PO Box 20309, Christchurch, New Zealand 8543.


Salvation Army: 0800 53 0000


Pacific Cooperation Foundation: Via any Westpac bank, 03 0539 0234978 01


UNICEF: Appeal details to be announced.