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PM Announces Education Aid For Indonesia

7 May 2002

Prime Minister Helen Clark announced today that New Zealand will provide $7.3 million over the next three and a half years to the people of Indonesia to assist with the provision of basic education.

The funds will come from the bilateral New Zealand Official Development Assistance (NZODA) programme for Indonesia and will be disbursed through a joint Indonesian Government, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and NZODA basic education project focused on the Eastern Islands, where 44 per cent of the population is said to live in poverty.

“The links between basic education and poverty reduction are well known internationally. Research shows that basic education contributes to higher living standards, income levels and participation in democratic processes,” Helen Clark said.

“Indonesia is New Zealand’s nearest Asian neighbour. It faces huge and urgent political, economic and social challenges. Indonesia is still in a state of serious vulnerability, with almost half of its population living in poverty.

“The NZODA programme for Indonesia assists in addressing these challenges by giving priority to poverty elimination, and thereby supporting Indonesia’s democratisation, economic reform and social development.

“Raising education levels in a developing country, such as Indonesia, requires an ongoing commitment by donors including New Zealand. We hope to continue to work into the long term with the Government of Indonesia in this sector to ensure sustainable benefits and to demonstrate our commitment to strengthening our bilateral relationship.”

Helen Clark made the announcement after witnessing the signing of an agreement between NZODA, UNICEF, and UNESCO in Jakarta.

The New Zealand Official Development Assistance (NZODA) Indonesia Bilateral Strategic Framework 2001-2005 concentrates on six key areas: Basic Education, Community Development, Natural Resource Development, Humanitarian Assistance/Conflict Resolution, Governance, and Institution/Capacity Building. It has an agreed total commitment of $40m over the next five years.

Nominal GDP per capita in Indonesia is around US$700 per annum, or US$2 per day. Indonesia is ranked 102nd in the 2001 Human Development Index, an aggregate of social and economic development indicators, compiled by the United Nations Development Program.

Ends

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