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Policy focuses on eradication of poverty

2000 web siteA Labour Government would focus its overseas aid and development budget on measures to help the eradication of poverty, Labour overseas aid and development spokesperson Graham Kelly said today.

Graham Kelly was releasing Labour's policy on Overseas Aid and Development.

He said Labour remained committed to the principle of supporting overseas countries in need of aid.

"However, we want to focus the work being done more closely on ways which poverty can be eliminated," Graham Kelly said.

"As such, for the first time, our policy contains 'guiding principles' by which all development projects will be assessed for their impact on poverty, inequality and human rights.

"Poverty throughout the world is the cause of a lack of progress in education, economic development, and poor health. It causes instability and insecurity in countries. Because the top 20 countries in the world have 75% of the world's wealth, nothing will change unless we make it our business to start the process of change."

Graham Kelly said Labour planned to progressively increase New Zealand's commitment to overseas aid and development - currently at $212.7 million.

"Our aim is, and has always been, to meet the international target of 0.7% of GNP. To ensure that Labour's programmes can be effectively implemented and meet the international commitments on funding for development, Labour will progressively increase the percentage of GNP devoted to overseas aid and development until we reach that target. Last year, we spent just 0.27 of GNP.

"We hope these measures will make a material difference to those many peoples of the world who rely on us and others of good will to make an improvement in their lives," Graham Kelly said.

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