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$4 Million Extra For Overseas Aid

15 May 2002

Budget 2002

$4 Million Extra For Overseas Aid - First Step To 0.7%

An additional $4 million dollars will top up this years overseas aid budget, Development Minister Matt Robson announced today.

“This is a modest step towards our goal of increasing aid to the internationally accepted level of 0.7% of GNP. We’re heading in the right direction.”

New Zealand’s aid level is currently at 0.25%, about the average for aid donor countries of the OECD.

“At the Financing for Development conference in Mexico earlier this year, I pledged on behalf of this government our willingness to examine how we might reach the 0.7% in incremental stages.

“The extra funds announced today prove that we’re putting our money where our mouth is.

“The importance of healthy aid budgets to developing countries has been recognised the world over since the events in Afghanistan. A world free of poverty is a safer world.

“However our key interests remain in the Pacific region. Last year I announced the establishment of a new aid agency - NZAID - which will focus primarily on basic education and poverty reduction in the Pacific. Promoting our own regional security is vital.”

NZAID funding for the 2002/2003 year will include:

- A shift of $4.5 million from tertiary to basic education, including significant new investments in basic education in East Timor and Indonesia.

- Increased core funding for the Council for International Development, DEVZONE and Voluntary Service Abroad.

- Increased funding for Non-Governmental organisations through a half a million dollar boost to the Voluntary Agency Support Scheme (VASS).

New funding will also support a significant increase in the capacity of the new agency, NZAID, to deliver a first-class programme though a boost in the numbers of experienced development staff.

Ends


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