Press Release: NZ Government contributes $1.6 million to World Vision work in northern Syria

28/11/2016 by World Vision New Zealand

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World Vision New Zealand welcomes the announcement that the Government will fund $1.6 million of aid for our work with nearly 100,000 people in northern Syria. 

The project will provide essential water and sanitation assistance to more than 90,000 internally displaced people living in northern Syria. This funding will allow World Vision to deliver access to clean, safe drinking water through emergency trucking, and the construction, repair, and improvement of water systems. The project will also deliver improved hygiene and sanitation services, including solid waste management, emergency latrines, and hygiene promotion in the camps. 

The Government grant to World Vision was recognition of the fund raising efforts of more than 90,000 New Zealand children who devoted the 40 Hour Famine campaign to Syrian refugees. In May Foreign Minister Murray McCully announced $2.5 million in matched funding available for New Zealand based non-Government organisations to help scale up their response to the Syrian refugee crisis. During this period young New Zealanders raised $1 million to support those affected by the Syrian crisis. 

This commitment comes on top of the $1.4 million of match funding the Government committed to the Forgotten Millions campaign in October 2015 after New Zealanders raised more than $1.7 million for World Vision’s Syria response. 

“It is truly rewarding to see the Government’s recognition of the engagement and efforts of young New Zealanders to raise money through the 40 Hour Famine, and its ongoing investment in World Vision’s work for the Syria crisis,” said acting World Vision New Zealand CEO, Lucy Laitinen. 

Inside Syria an estimated 13.5 million people, including 6 million children, are in need of protection or humanitarian assistance. More than 70% of the population lack access to adequate drinking water nationally.

In Aleppo Governorate 2.5 million people are in need of water and sanitation assistance. In June, a rapid needs assessment conducted by World Vision found overcrowded, damaged and unsafe latrines, urine and faeces spreading into living spaces, and mounting rubbish with limited services for its removal.

This year an increase in fighting in several areas of the north of Syria has resulted in significant civilian casualties and the displacement of thousands. Populations throughout the northern countryside of Aleppo have been particularly affected, displacing thousands to areas along the Turkish border. Access to aid has been cut off for long periods of time. 

“This project will provide life-saving assistance to the people of Syria who have had even their most basic needs compromised by this terrible war,” said Laitinen. 

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