18 Jul 2006

Cook Islands seeks funding for national cyclone relief and recovery package

6:33 pm on 18 July 2006

The Cook Islands is looking to New Zealand and other donors to fund a multi-million dollar national cyclone relief and recovery package.

The head of the Finance Ministry's Aid Management division, Garth Henderson, says the effects of a series of cyclones 16 months ago were felt nation wide.

He says the package is designed to address issues they've identified with infrastructure, disaster management, housing, health, public administration, micro-enterprises and livelihoods and tourism, among others.

Mr Henderson says the package has been endorsed by cabinet and he understands it has been formally presented to New Zealand's aid agency, NZ Aid.

"We've come up with a package after great difficulty of about 13 and a half million dollars. That covers all sectors. Most of the funding for that is anticipated to come from NZ Aid, about 10 million dollars. The rest we've managed to pull out of UNDP, EU and a local government contribution."

Mr Henderson says they face huge issues with implementation of what will be the three year plan due to the isolation of outer islands, the irregular transportation links and the lack of public capacity.