New Zealand will boost its aid contribution to Vanuatu to $3.5 million dollars to help the cyclone-ravaged nation recover.
A further $1 million was announced today by Foreign Minister Murray McCully to top up New Zealand's aid contribution in the wake of Cyclone Pam.
New Zealand will also help transport Fiji disaster response personnel to Vanuatu by Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules.
The aid boost will bring New Zealand's contribution to $3.5 million, Mr McCully said, with the additional $1 million announced today to be split between Vanuatu and Tuvalu.
"The $500,000 we are providing to Vanuatu will allow New Zealand Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) personnel to deploy and will enable us to respond to additional requests for assistance from the Vanuatu Government," Mr McCully said.
"The 10 person New Zealand USAR team will assist with the production of clean drinking water, clearing roads, and limited building demolition.
"The other $500,000 will be used in Tuvalu to purchase relief and medical supplies, and to provide agricultural, food security, and transport assistance."
The RNZAF Hercules would transport a contingent of Fiji military engineers, health professionals, and supplies from Suva to Vanuatu today, Mr McCully said.
"This cooperation between New Zealand and Fiji is a positive development that reflects the steps we have been taking to reengage with Fiji politically and militarily."
Meanwhile, further New Zealand aid has arrived in Vanuatu to help in the aftermath of Cyclone Pam.
Two helicopters from Christchurch arrived in the Pacific island archipelago last night, which will "offer much more horse power" to carry people for medical evacuations and dropping aid workers into remote cyclone destroyed areas, Garden City Helicopters said.
The choppers will also provide greater lifting capacity for moving heavy items and helping to restore broken-down communication towers.
"Yesterday we flew the UN [United Nations], ADRA [Adventist Development and Relief Agency] and the World Health Organisation to Tongariki, Buninga, Makura and Mataso Islands," Garden City Helicopters said.
"We delivered medical supplies and water, treated a few people on the islands. The general concern now is infection which is starting to set in.
"Mataso Island was devastated with 12 injured and one fatality. The majority of the injuries were caused by flying debris and rising sea levels right into their homes causing them to flee up hills and were consequently hit by flying debris."
The chopper crews flew three people to hospital yesterday, with dozens of others being evacuated by boat.
"Today we are delivering satellite phones to Anatom, Aniwa, and Futuna Islands," it said.
"No one has been there yet so we are anxious to see what the outcome is."
Meanwhile, the New Zealand Defence Force is also prepping the HMNZS Canterbury for departure tomorrow.
The ship will be packed with aid, equipment and more than 100 Defence Force engineers when it sets sail from Devonport naval base tomorrow morning.