The New Zealand Red Cross is sending an emergency response team to the Republic of the Marshall Islands to assist with a potential humanitarian crisis caused by drought.
The team of three aid workers and 348kg of equipment were to reach the island nation in the North Pacific this week, the Red Cross said.
A state of emergency in the Marshall Islands was declared in April but this has now been elevated to a state of national disaster.
New Zealand Red Cross international emergency manager Glenn Rose said people were surviving on less than one litre of water per person per day.
Much of what remained of the depleted water stocks were tainted by high salinity levels and other contamination.