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Pacific aid should meet needs, not buy votes

Council for International Development
Kaunihera mo te Whakapakari Ao Whanui

CID is the umbrella organisation that represents 81 New Zealand based aid and development agencies.


MEDIA RELEASE 29 May 2006

Pacific aid should meet development needs, not buy votes

Alleviating poverty and dealing with issues such as basic education, health and HIV/Aids should be the target of any increased aid to the Pacific region.

The Council for International Development, which represents 81 New Zealand development agencies, has cautiously welcomed the big increase in aid to the Pacific from Japan and China.

But CID Executive Director, Rae Julian says it’s extremely important that it be used in a way that will add real and significant benefit to Pacific Island people.

She says there is growing economic disparity and an increase in poverty in a number of Pacific countries, especially in Melanesia.

“Next to sub-Saharan Africa, the Pacific region has been identified by the United Nations as the farthest off target to reach the Millennium Development Goals – a set of internationally-agreed targets to significantly reduce global by 2015, “ says Ms Julian.

The goals include halving the number of people living on less than $1-US a day and giving every child a primary level education.

Ms Julian says there is clearly a need for more aid in the Pacific. It would have a very negative outcome for Pacific people if it is being given in a bid to further China and Japan’s influence in the region, and not to support Pacific development objectives.


ENDS

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