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NZ’s level of aid once again ranked low.

NZ’s level of aid once again ranked low.

The latest report by the Washington-based Centre for Global Development’s annual Commitment to Development Index (CDI) has ranked New Zealand’s level of international aid 18th out of 21 nations.

This is another example of how New Zealand is being seen as not pulling its weight when it comes to giving aid to poor countries, says Rae Julian, executive director of the Council for International Development.

New Zealand was ranked sixth in a survey of countries helping to make the world a better place when other issues such as investment, trade, security and technology were put into the equation.

However, Ms Julian says our stance on trade liberalisation will do little to help the poorest countries get out of poverty.

“The survey is wrong to link our open trade policies with poverty elimination. The world’s poorest countries need access to education, safe water, infrastructure and other basics before they are in a position to compete in global trade.”

She points out that only 0.4 percent of global trade and 0.5 percent of global investment goes to the least developed countries.

“These countries need to boost their capacity before they can benefit from international trade.”

Ms Julian has called on the government to honour its United Nations commitment and set in place a timetable to give 0.7 percent of Gross National Income in aid by 2015.

The key issue is that our government needs to increase aid to poor countries.

New Zealand is one of only two OECD countries which has not either significantly increased aid levels or set a timetable for reaching the UN Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of devoting 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income to Official Development Aid by 2015.

Ends

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