WELLINGTON, March 29 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta traveled to Vanuatu on Wednesday, announcing further relief and recovery assistance there, following the recent destruction caused by Cyclones Judy and Kevin.
"Vanuatu is an important regional partner and friend to New Zealand. This visit is an opportunity to reaffirm and strengthen the close links that already exist between our countries," Mahuta said.
During her visit, Mahuta will visit cyclone-affected communities to see response efforts first-hand.
An additional 1 million NZ dollars (630,000 U.S. dollars) have been provided for a contestable fund to enable New Zealand's non-government organizations and their in-country partners to continue to respond to local needs, including in the areas of food security, health and gender protection, Mahuta said.
This will bring the total value of New Zealand's support for Vanuatu's response and recovery efforts to approximately 3 million NZ dollars (1.87 million dollars) to date, the minister said.
While in Vanuatu, Mahuta met with Vanuatu Acting Prime Minister Sato Kilman, Foreign Minister Jotham Napat, and other senior figures in the Vanuatu government.
New Zealand is committed to working alongside Vanuatu, as well as the wider Pacific community, to increase resilience, particularly in the face of climate change and extreme weather events impacting the region, she said.