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NZ Continues To Neglect Pacific Neighbours

NZ Continues To Neglect Pacific Neighbours

Press Release: The Global Poverty Project New Zealand

New Zealand is continuing to neglect our Pacific neighbours at the time they need it most, says the Global Poverty Project, an international development NGO.

The United Nations Millenium Development Goals Report 2011 showed that Oceania is off-track on almost all of the development targets which are intended to be reached by 2015. However, in the budget released today, the Government has cut aid spending by $26 million and has indicated that there will be no increase for at least three years.

“We Kiwis like to think of ourselves as good neighbours, but we have really failed to stand by our promises to the Pacific. The truth is, we have been stingy for many years and it is showing through in poor development statistics in the Pacific islands we said we would help,” says Will Watterson, New Zealand Country Director at The Global Poverty Project.

New Zealand’s aid allocation is still a far cry from the 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) which was pledged by all developed nations at the United Nations in 1970, and has since been repeatedly affirmed as New Zealand’s target for aid spending.

According to the OECD, New Zealand’s aid allocation was just 0.28% of GNI in 2011, half of the 0.56% given by the United Kingdom. “We can’t hide behind the global recession as an excuse for not giving more. Even Ireland, amidst an economic collapse, gives almost double the proportion we do,” said Watterson. With today’s budget announcement, New Zealand’s aid allocation will drop even further below 0.28% of GNI, and will continue to drop for at least three years.

“If we are serious about helping to lift our neighbours out of poverty, we need to be doing a lot more. We say we are a country that punches above our weight, and yet we allow extreme poverty to exist next door. It’s time to put our money where our mouth is.”



1.4 billion people on our planet live in extreme poverty The Global Poverty Project's mission is to increase the number and effectiveness of people taking action to see an end to extreme poverty.

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