16 Aug 2010

NZAid help to Tuvalu last month benefitted wide range of people

6:21 am on 16 August 2010

The New Zealand Government development assistance agency, NZAid, says its joint operation in Tuvalu last month with the New Zealand Defence Force has been well-received.

Operation Tropic Twilight was a two-pronged exercise: testing the response to a natural disaster such as a cyclone, and secondly, delivering a series of aid programmes to Tuvalu.

In addition to the military, the operation involved medics, tradespeople and materials worth 250 thousand dollars; providing engineering, construction and much needed surgery and medical treatment.

The Development Programme manager for NZAid in Fiji and Tuvalu, Richard Dirks, says the aid programmes are benefitting a wide range of Tuvaluans.

"Like the hernia surgeries and things like that: they were incredibly well received. Fixing up the schools, that's going to help for generations of Tuvaluans, they were delighted with that. And I guess from our point of view and something that's been fed back from government is that it's really hard to put a value on the disaster-risk preparedness, the work we did with their national disaster co-ordinating committee."