18 May 2004

NZ gives Pacific US$1.8m towards fight against HIV-Aids

10:44 am on 18 May 2004

New Zealand is to give US$1.8 million towards the international effort to fight HIV-Aids in the Pacific.

The money will go to three United Nations funds devoted to Aids and is on top of the US$3.6 million that New Zealand spends directly on HIV-Aids and reproductive health in the Pacific.

The health minister, Annette King says the time to act is now.

"If you look at some of the statistics, in places like Sierra Leone, Botswana and so on, you have close to 50 per cent of their population infected you can imagine the impact that would have on small Pacific nations."

Annette King says New Zealand is focused on the Pacific because of the movement of people between the islands, New Zealand and Australia.