WELLINGTON, July 25 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters on Wednesday announced a renewed government funding agreement with the New Zealand Red Cross to assist with disaster preparedness and response in the Pacific and across the world.
"The New Zealand Red Cross is an important humanitarian response partner and provides critical assistance to vulnerable communities around the world prior to and in the aftermath of a disaster," Peters said in a statement.
This partnership will help the New Zealand Red Cross to continue building community resilience and expand existing initiatives, including deploying highly skilled New Zealanders to support life-saving actions by their Red Cross partners overseas, said Peters who is now acting prime minister and deputy prime minister.
"The work the New Zealand Red Cross does ensures that communities that are better prepared for disasters, and therefore able to respond to and recover from such events, thus preventing loss of life and livelihoods," he said.
This partnership will also deliver community first-aid training and replenish disaster relief supplies stored in five countries across the Pacific in preparation for future events, he said.
Funding has been increased from a three year to a five year period allowing the Red Cross to plan with greater certainty and expand their program across the Pacific, Peters said.
The New Zealand Red Cross will receive government funding of 10.67 million NZ dollars (7.27 million U.S. dollars) over a five-year period, and the Red Cross will contribute more than 14 million NZ dollars (9.5 million U.S. dollars) to the renewed partnership, he added.