11 Aug 2004

Governments urged to remain focussed on aid priorities

3:34 pm on 11 August 2004

The New Zealand and Australian governments are being called on to remain focussed on core aid priorities like health and education, rather than shift to security.

The appeal comes as the Council for International Development launches a report called Reality of Aid 2004.

A guest speaker at the launch, Aisake Casimira, says the recent Forum discussed the issue of terrorism, and Pacific governments were encouraged to return home to upgrade security.

Among other strategies, a regional police training centre is being established in Suva.

Mr Casimira, who's the director of Fiji's Ecumenical Centre for Research, Education and Advocacy, says he hopes priorities in regards to aid don't shift.

"One wonders how much of the aid money will go towards funding police and the training centre, the immigration. How much of that will actually cut across going towards poverty alleviation, towards health programmes, HIV/AIDS for example, education, and so the priorities have shifted."

Aisake Casimira.

The Council for International Development has launched its report on aid as part of an ongoing campaign to persuade the New Zealand government to commit more money to aid.