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Dismal aid budget out of sync with Kiwi generosity

P3 Foundation Media Release 16 May, 2013

Dismal aid budget out of sync with Kiwi generosity

New Zealand's official development assistance budget is dismal and is out of sync with the generosity of ordinary New Zealanders, says P3 Foundation, aNew Zealand-wide youth led development organisation committed to eradicating extreme poverty within this generation.

In budget figures released today, official development assistance remained stagnant at $508 million, below the 2011 level of $510 million.

Divya Hariharan, P3 Foundation CEO says that Kiwis are generous but this is not reflected in our aid budget.

“We have neighbours living in extreme poverty in East Timor, and in Pacific countries like Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, who will continue to suffer because of our stingy policies.

“New Zealand, along with all developed nations, has repeatedly promised to reach a development assistance target of 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI). But the United Nations records New Zealand’s 2011 aid budget at just 0.28% of GNI. With today’s budget announcement, that will drop even further.

“Individual kiwis have repeatedly given generously to those in need, for example after the 2009 Samoan tsunami. Our aid budget and policies need to reflect that same generosity and commitment to being a good neighbour.

“New Zealand’s aid budget is in contrast to the United Kingdom, which committed to reaching the 0.7% target in its 2013 budget.

“World Bank figures show the number of people in the world living in extreme poverty has recently fallen from 1.4 billion to 1.2 billion. This is still 1.2 billion too many, but it shows that aid is working, and the eradication of extreme poverty is possible within this generation if we all work together.”

P3 Foundation’s position is backed up by the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, who last month said “I have no doubt that the world can end extreme poverty within a generation. But it’s not a given and we cannot do it alone. It requires focus, innovation and commitments from everyone.”

ENDS

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