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Budget: Could do better says World Vision head

Budget: Could do better says World Vision head

World Vision New Zealand's CEO Helen Green says the increase in overseas aid in yesterday's Budget is a start, but nowhere enough to address global needs.

"The Government has taken on board New Zealanders' demonstrated desire to see international aid as a priority, as we saw after the Boxing Day tsunami. However, the .04% increase in overseas aid is nowhere near enough progress in terms of New Zealand's commitment to giving .7% of gross national income. This commitment was signed up to years ago, and we're still only giving .27%."

And Mrs Green added that it was important to recognise the needs in the Pacific as Mr Cullen did in his speech, but the global threat of HIV/AIDS merits attention to.

"We've seen what it's doing in Africa and the economic and social devastation it's causing. Now it's sweeping through Asia and will definitely impact on us in New Zealand. We need to wake up to this imminent threat and look at the problem globally, not regionally. The New Zealand Government should be looking at funding risk mitigation for HIV/AIDS in Asia at the very least."

Mrs Green says this is the year when there is an emphasis on eliminating poverty, with the huge global MakePovertyHistory campaign, kicked off by Nelson Mandela and Bono in the UK. "I was expecting more from the Budget in terms of overseas aid, given the emphasis on global poverty and HIV/AIDS this year."


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