2 Jun 2005

New Zealand told it has a responsibility to deal with extreme poverty levels in the Pacific

7:57 pm on 2 June 2005

New Zealand's Council for International Development says while the world focusses on poverty in Africa, New Zealand must not lose sight of the extreme poverty closer to home.

Executive Director, Rae Julian, says the Live 8 concerts next month will be a big boost to the battle against poverty in Africa and is welcomed.

But she says a recent survey shows that the figures on poverty in parts of the Pacific are as bad as sub-Saharan Africa.

"Not for absolute poverty, I don't think we could say there are proportionately as many people starving, but it is in areas such as infant mortality, HIV/AIDs, safe drinking water, maternal health - so it is in those areas that we, really, are just as bad. So we are wanting to say, New Zealand, where is your responsibility."

The Council for International Development is campaigning for New Zealand to increase its aid spending to point seven of a percent of Gross National Income, - currently it is providing a third of that amount.