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NZ’s international aid on the political agenda

29 August 2005

New Zealand’s international aid on the political agenda

Many of the country’s aid and development agencies have joined together to put international aid on the political agenda this election.

They’ve launched an advertising campaign asking voters to consider the parties’ positions on aid and in particular what they will do to increase our level of aid in order to keep to our country’s international promises.

The Council for International Development Executive Director, Rae Julian, says that unless the next Government commits to the internationally agreed target of giving 0.7 percent of national income in aid to poor countries over the next decade, it is unlikely we will be able to keep to promises past governments have made.

“This is an important issue because it goes to the very heart of being New Zealanders. We see ourselves as a fair and generous nation. But the reality is that we’re not pulling our weight when it comes to giving aid to poor countries,” says Ms Julian.

She says successive New Zealand governments have been very tight-fisted when it comes to giving aid to poor countries and we face the prospect of being seen as an international Scrooge.

The campaign is asking voters this election to take account of the political parties’ stances on aid when casting their votes.

“This year the Government increased New Zealand official development assistance to 0.27 percent of national income – the largest ever annual increase in New Zealand’s aid programme but still a long way short of the international target of giving 0.7 percent by 2015.”

“What’s concerning is that at the current rate of progress we will not get to 0.7 percent until 2050.”

“It is important that politicians understand that many New Zealanders do care about issues such as fairness and how, as a country, we’re regarded internationally.”

As well as talking to political candidates, New Zealanders will be able to register their support for the campaign by visiting the website www.pointseven.org.nz


Agencies supporting the advertising campaign are:

ADRA - BANZAID - Caritas Aotearoa NZ - ChildFund New Zealand - Christian World Service - Council for International Development - FPAID - International Needs - Leprosy Mission NZ - Oxfam NZ - Richmond Fellowship NZ - Save the Children NZ - Surfaid International - TEAR Fund - Trade Aid - UNICEF - Volunteer Service Abroad - World Vision


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