8 Jan 2010

$50,000 initially for relief in Solomon Islands

8:58 pm on 8 January 2010

New Zealand is making an initial contribution of $NZ50,000 to relief efforts in Solomon Islands following recent earthquakes and a tsunami there.

Foreign Minister Murray McCully says the money will be given to various agencies working on the ground in Solomon Islands.

He says $10,000 will go to the Solomons national disaster management organisation to help meet essential costs as the damage is assessed and relief supplies distributed.

Mr McCully says the Solomon Islands Government has not officially requested assistance, but New Zealand is ready to provide further assistance, if requested.

Pockets of need remain - Unicef

The aid agency Unicef says pockets of need remain in Solomon Islands. The organisation has been working to provide essential relief supplies, including food, water and temporary shelters - mostly to Rendova Island, the worst hit area.

An emergency response coordinator for Unicef, Hamish Weatherly, says there's enough food for now, but more clean water and at least 500 more tarpaulins are needed.

Mr Weatherly says a detailed assessment of the emergency recovery efforts will be carried out next week to determine what else is required.