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Aid Agencies Call On New Government To Fulfil 50-year Promise Of More Aid

More than a dozen New Zealand aid agencies have signed an open letter to the incoming government, asking them to deliver on promises of increasing overseas aid levels.

The letter marks the 50-year anniversary of New Zealand pledging to reach the target of spending 0.7% of Gross National Income on overseas aid, set at the United Nations. Wealthy nations spent just 0.3 percent of their Gross National Income on international aid in 2019, and only five countries – Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and the UK – have met that 0.7 per cent target.

Oxfam New Zealand’s Dr Joanna Spratt said: “Aid has played a crucial role in tackling poverty and inequality over the last 50 years. Our new government is facing substantial global challenges that can only be met together with our neighbours. The good news is that both Labour and Greens have committed to growing the aid budget – now we just need to see them follow through.”

World Vision’s Grant Bayldon said: “This term of government is a crucial one for protecting and nurturing our values of international cooperation. The coronavirus pandemic means international aid has never been more important to creating a world where everyone has access to healthcare, social safety nets and basic resources they need to survive and thrive.”

Anglican Movement’s Kate Day said: “Hitting the target for New Zealand’s aid contribution, as promised 50 years ago, will be pivotal for facing the global challenges of our time. While our borders are closed, we can’t ignore the devastating impacts the coronavirus pandemic is having around the world, and the ongoing impacts of climate change.”

Christian World Service’s Pauline McKay said: “The 0.7% commitment is not charity. It is an investment in a safer, more prosperous, and fairer world for us all. But the challenges are ongoing and our generosity needs to keep pace.”

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