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NZ committed to helping the world’s poorest

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Trade

26 September 2008
Media statement

NZ committed to helping the world’s poorest

Trade Minister Phil Goff today addressed the United Nations Call to Action meeting on the Millennium Development Goals, and reaffirmed New Zealand’s commitment to the eight internationally agreed targets aimed at reducing and eventually eradicating poverty.

“The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are at the core of international aid efforts and New Zealand’s growing Official Development Assistance Programme. They seek to address the very basic inequalities which are the root of global poverty,” Mr Goff said.

“As a good international citizen New Zealand is committed to working with global partners, donors, civil society and recipients of aid to help ensure we are doing all we can to reduce global poverty. The Call to Action event held today is a reminder to everyone that while there has been significant progress on some targets, urgent and increased efforts are needed if we are to achieve all the MDGs by 2015.

“There is deep injustice in the fact that 1 billion people live on less than $1 a day, and a major concern to us is that 640 million of the 1 billion live in the Asia Pacific region. The impacts of recent food and fuel price increases and climate change have made the challenges of meeting the Millennium Development Goals even greater.

“New Zealand’s international aid and development agency, NZAID, is set to increase the level of development assistance we provide to the Pacific to more than $240 million in 2008/09. This recognises that the Pacific, and more especially Melanesia , is the area of the world least likely to meet the MDG targets after Sub-Sahara Africa.

“We are also playing our part in the international effort to ensure that development assistance is used effectively, reaches the people who need it most, and helps countries overcome poverty rather than providing a short term fix.

“The Pacific Development Strategy 2007-2015 will deliver over $2 billion of assistance to the region over the eight year period it covers. It will have a sustainable impact on health and education in the Pacific, address infrastructure gaps, promote economic growth, and strengthen governance and leadership.”

“New Zealand’s efforts in the Pacific and the work we are doing with global partners such as the United Nations, show that we remain committed to achieving the MDGs and are taking action to help the world’s poor, including some of our closest neighbours,” Mr Goff said.

For more information on the Millennium Development Goals go to:


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