Foreign aid increase delivers on election policy
Increase in foreign aid delivers on election policy
Prime Minister Helen Clark has hailed the Budget's investment in overseas development assistance announced today as a major step forward in New Zealand's contribution to reducing poverty and supporting sustainable development.
"The increase in the aid budget announced by Foreign Minister Winston Peters delivers on Labour's election pledge to raise ODA to 0.35 per cent of gross national income by 2010," Helen Clark said.
"Our priority for assistance is the Pacific region.
"In particular the Labour-led Government wants to sharpen the focus on education, fighting HIV/AIDS and other diseases, improving water, sanitation and waste management, and improving governance, leadership, and economic development.
"Tackling poverty and encouraging sustainable development in partnership with our neighbours is a central part of New Zealand's national identity as a responsible international citizen.
"This substantial increase has resulted from co-operation between Labour and New Zealand First, and is in line with Labour's co-operation agreement with the Green Party," Helen Clark said.