New Zealand provides COVID-19 recovery support for Cook Islands

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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