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A generation of kids will be lost, NZ must do more

Hon Jim Anderton

Member of Parliament for Wigram
Progressive Leader


29 October 2009 Media Statement

16,000 children are dying from hunger every day because food aid is now at its lowest level in twenty years, but the National government remains determined not to use our aid for ‘poverty reduction,” says Progressive leader and MP Jim Anderton.

The head of the United Nation’s World Food Programme recently announced that tens of millions of the world’s poor will have their food rations cut or cancelled in the next few weeks because some OECD countries have slashed aid after the financial crisis.

Jim Anderton was talking at the launch of the Mutima Project in Christchurch tonight.

The Mutima project is a volunteer organisation and will send a team of cardiac surgeons to Zambia to perform life-saving heart surgery on young adults.

“I commend them for the strength of their personal commitment and their determination to serve. We are a stronger and more caring community because of people like these Christchurch surgeons. Because of them, a hundred young Zambians will have a second chance at life.”

About 60% of the Zambian population are living on less than a $1 per day.

“But where is the urgency from the National government to save a generation of children who will die from starvation if the world does nothing?”

The National government has recently announced that it will abolish the goal of ‘poverty reduction’ for our aid, and replace it with a goal of ‘economic development’.

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“I am a strong champion of economic development - I used to be Minister of Economic Development. But you can’t do much business development if people don’t have enough to eat or clean water to drink.”

“I also want to see the National government do more about bad governance and corruption in some of the poorest countries.”

“I want to see New Zealand get behind a new international Natural Resource Charter which sets out ‘best practice’ in countries with natural resources like oil (or copper in Zambia), so proceeds of those resources go to the poorest people and don’t end up in the pockets of the corrupt,” says Jim Anderton.

ENDS

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