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If Europe can do it, so can we

25 May 2005

If Europe can do it, so can we

Yesterday’s landmark commitment by 15 European countries to increase aid levels to 0.51% of Gross National Income by 2010 and to 0.7% by 2015 is being hailed as a major breakthrough in the fight against poverty by the Council for International Development (CID).

“This decision really throws down the gauntlet to countries like New Zealand, which despite a recent modest increase in its aid level (to 0.28% by 2008) is lagging behind most OECD donor countries,” said Barry Coates, Deputy Chair of CID. “Now that the EU has finally put a timetable in place, it is time for New Zealand to follow suit.”

2005 is seen as a crucial year for development by the global anti-poverty movement, which in New Zealand is rallying together in a coalition called Make Poverty History. This coalition is supporting the CID’s Point Seven campaign, calling on the government to set a timetable and milestones to achieve the promised aid level of 0.7% of Gross National Income.

“The time when international aid could be regarded as a fringe issue in New Zealand is over,” said Coates. “People all over the world are growing increasingly aware of the responsibility we all share to bring an end to the kind of poverty that kills 30,000 children a day.

Kiwis are no exception to this and we are looking to Government to show that it is taking our concerns on board. We want to see an anti-poverty focus in our Government’s policies on all issues that affect poverty around the world, including aid levels, trade rules and debt relief.”

ENDS

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