5 Apr 2010

French minister defends relief effort to help cyclone-stricken Futuna

1:40 pm on 5 April 2010

The French overseas territories minister, Marie-Luce Penchard, has defended the government's record in helping Futuna after last month's destruction caused by Cyclone Tomas.

Under questioning in the French assembly about progress in the relief effort, she said after the military's assistance from New Caledonia and the relief flights from Wallis, a civilian ship is due in Futuna later this week.

Many people have been left destitute but Mrs Penchard says assistance is being given.

"More than 600,000 euros has already been released. At the same time the request to recognise the area a natural disaster zone is being considered and will shortly be approved and applied."

The French overseas territories minister, Marie-Luce Penchard