EARTHQUAKE AID FOR VANUATU

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (Jan. 13, 2000 – The National)---Papua New Guinea has provided funds to help the people of Vanuatu, still struggling to recover from an earthquake.

The National Disaster Committee gave K 100,000 (US$ 36,500) towards the earthquake disaster relief effort this week.

A check was presented to Foreign Affairs Secretary Evoa Lalatute by Acting Provincial and Local Level Government Secretary Confucius Ikoirere, after being converted into a bank check and the Vanuatu vatu.

Mr. Lalatute said the help was in respect of PNG's bilateral ties with Vanuatu and because Vanuatu had donated about half a million vatu (K 300,000; US$ 109,500) to the PNG Disaster committee for the Aitape tsunami appeal last year.

He said, "Over the last few years, we have been victims of major incidents and have witnessed the generosity of other countries and, in this context, I feel we have to positively give back help."

Mr. Ikoirere said it was the third contribution from the National Disaster Committee, the first being a K 300,000 (US$ 109,500) contribution to Turkey and the second a K 200,000 (US$ 73,000) donation to Fiji.

He said that the office is only happy to contribute since our relationship with other countries can only be strengthened in cases like this.

For additional reports from The National, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The National (Papua New Guinea).

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