Tue, 30 May 2023

WELLINGTON, May 22 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand will provide 15 million NZ dollars (9.41 million U.S. dollars) in emergency budget support for the Cook Islands in its ongoing recovery from the impacts of COVID-19.

New Zealand's support was confirmed during a meeting between New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins and Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown in Papua New Guinea on Monday.

"New Zealand and Cook Islands share a special relationship," Hipkins said, adding the support is provided in response to the needs of a close, constitutional partner which continues to face extreme economic challenges as a result of COVID-19.

The Cook Islands suffered an unprecedented 41 percent economic contraction from COVID-19, he said, adding the funding will assist the Cook Islands government in continuing to deliver essential services.

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