WELLINGTON, May 24 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand is providing 3.5 million NZ dollars (2.16 million U.S. dollars) to help meet urgent humanitarian needs in Sudan, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said on Wednesday.
The severe fighting between the Sudan Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces has had devastating impacts for civilians. At least 705 people have been killed and 5,287 injured, Mahuta said.
"New Zealand is gravely concerned by the conflict in Sudan. We call for both sides to halt the fighting and agree to a lasting ceasefire to ensure the protection of civilians and non-combatants and bring an end to the suffering of the people of Sudan," she said.
New Zealand is contributing 2 million NZ dollars (1.24 million U.S. dollars) to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to support its response in Sudan, she said, adding the ICRC has a strong presence across the country and works in partnership with the Sudanese Red Crescent Society to provide a range of protection and assistance to affected communities.
New Zealand is also contributing 1.5 million NZ dollars (930,000 U.S. dollars) to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to support its regional refugee response, the minister said.
The U.N. estimates that more than 843,100 people have been displaced within Sudan since the conflict began.