WELLINGTON: New Zealand will provide additional humanitarian funding and technical assistance to support relief efforts in Turkey and Syria where more than 21,000 people were killed following the devastating 7.8-magnitude earlier this week.
"Building on our initial contribution, we will contribute a further NZ$3 million ($1.9 million) in humanitarian funding to support response efforts on the ground," Xinhua news agency quoted Acting Foreign Minister David Parker as saying on Friday.
Among them, NZ$2 million will be delivered through the World Food Program (WFP) in Turkey, providing immediate relief for displaced families in an overwhelmingly challenging environment that is made worse by freezing temperatures, Parker said.
"With tens of thousands displaced and food supply chains disrupted, our contribution will support WFP to deliver vital food assistance to communities including family food packages and supporting the operation of soup kitchens," he said.
An additional NZ$1 million will go to support the Unicef's response in Syria.
The UN agency is providing health, nutrition, education and psychosocial support to children and young people affected by the earthquake, Parker said.
In addition to these new financial contributions, two New Zealand fire and emergency information management specialists are working to assist with the coordination of international search and rescue efforts on the ground in Turkey, he said, adding these individuals are working out of New Zealand as part of an international team.
Friday's announcement brought New Zealand's total humanitarian funding for the emergency earthquake response to NZ$4.5 million.
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