New Zealand Reneging On A Promise
6 April 2005
NEW ZEALAND RENEGING ON A PROMISE
“New Zealand’s image as a good global citizen is slipping,” says Elizabeth Bang, Acting National President of the National Council of Women of New Zealand. “We are lagging behind with respect to specific commitments to increase our level of overseas aid in line with promises made at UN level. In spite of recent generosity directed at the Tsunami relief, the New Zealand Government is well behind its target.”
Reaching an annual donation level of 0.7% of Gross National Income is the agreed target for overseas development aid given by governments of developed countries. New Zealand is well below the average amongst international donors with its current level of 0.26%. It is one of the few countries that have set no timeframes or steps for achieving either 0.7% GNI or a stated goal.
“Individuals and the Government have been generous with donations for victims of the Boxing Day Tsunami,’ Elizabeth Bang acknowledges readily. “However this level of giving by the Government needs to be sustained to honour our international obligations and humanitarian principles. Crises abound and cycles of poverty must be broken - as many people die from hunger and poverty-related disease each week as were killed by the Tsunami.”
The Millennium Development Goals call for a dramatic reduction in poverty and hunger of 50% by 2015. The NZ Government, having signed on to the Millennium Development Goals, is committed to honouring them and must report to the UN later in 2005 on our progress after five years.