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Budget response: New Zealand needs to up its game on ODA

Budget response: Aid Agencies say New Zealand needs to up its game further on ODA

Aid Agencies say New Zealand needs to up its game further on ODA The New Zealand aid sector welcomes the increases in foreign aid allocations signalled in the 2015 Budget but cautions, it is the way this money is spent that will be the best measure of its effectiveness.

The Budget released today announced spending in New Zealand Official Development Assistance (ODA) will increase by nearly $220 million spread over three years.

Total expenditure on ODA over this period will be $1.89 billion compared to nearly $1.67 billion in the current three-­year period.

The Council for International Development (CID), which is the umbrella organisation for most of the organisations working in the aid sector, says the reasons behind the allocation decisions need to be carefully scrutinised.

“CID NGOs work with marginalised communities in 79 countries around the world.

They are aware that what drives the government aid programme is not always in line with what is needed to get these communities out of poverty and towards self sufficiency,” says Dr Wren Green, CID Director.

Despite the increase, New Zealand will still languish in the bottom half of the league table of rich nations; this budget is well below 0.3 percent of our Gross National Income to ODA.

“Our aid budget has been too low for too many decades while in the last few years developing countries have been hit hard by the after-­effects of the world financial crisis," says Dr Green.

“This amount of aid works out at a bit over a take-­away coffee per Kiwi per fortnight.

We should be doing much better.”

“A bolder commitment to reducing global poverty and inequalities needs to be a non-­partisan issue” says CID’s Dr Green.

“Whatever political party is in power, New Zealand’s commitment to significantly increase its aid budget should be front and centre of all policy and planning concerning overseas development assistance.”

“The government needs to reflect its citizens’ individual generosity towards supporting NGOs and humanitarian appeals and substantially increase government investment in sustainable development in our region.”

Fifteen years ago New Zealand agreed to be part of a global push to halve the number of people living in poverty by 2015.

Twelve years ago New Zealand was one of the 'economically advanced countries' in Monterrey that committed to work towards spending 0.7% of our Gross National Income (GNI) on aid.

Presently our aid budget amounts to $4.20 for every New Zealander a fortnight – upping that to a weekly total would bring our ODA to about 0.5% of GNI.

ENDS


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