11 Mar 2008

New Zealand to assist Solomon Islands

11:25 am on 11 March 2008

New Zealand Foreign Minister, Winston Peters, says New Zealand will help rebuild thousands of homes wrecked by an earthquake and tsunami in Solomon Islands last April.

Mr Peters says funding of nearly one point two million US dollars over two years will help communities in Western Province rebuild and repair around 3500 houses .

He says this assistance will complement the 2 point 4 million US dollars provided by the Solomon's Government, which has been distributed through MPs.

Australia is also providing one point five million US dollars to help rebuild homes on Gizo island and in neighbouring Choiseul province.

Mr Peter says the funding is part of New Zealand's nearly 6 million US dollar tsunami recovery package, announced last year, which also included support for rebuilding schools and improving the livelihoods of rural fishers.

He says the international aid agency, NZAID, will work with World Vision to provide materials and teach local workers the skills to ensure houses have greater stability than in the past.