16 May 2003

New Zealand lambasted for low levels of development aid

3:25 pm on 16 May 2003

The umbrella organisation for New Zealand NGOs involved in development says New Zealand should be ashamed of the low level of aid it provides.

In this week's budget New Zealand announced an increase in aid spending - the first in several years.

The nine percent increase takes New Zealand's spending on overseas aid to 142 million US dollars.

But Rae Julian the executive director of the Council for International Development says she is disgusted that New Zealand is giving much less aid than most OECD countries.

She says the internationally recognized goal is for governments to allocate point seven of one percent of Gross National Income to overseas aid.

But she says currently New Zealand is contributing less than one quarter of one percent of GNI, placing it 17th out of 22 OECD nations.

Ms Julian says this is something New Zealand should be ashamed of.

She says it is important for richer countries to increase aid levels to bring about poverty elimination in developing countries.

Ms Julian says she believes most New Zealanders accept that.