4 Jul 2005

New Zealand aid organisation says New Zealand must do more to tackle extreme poverty in the Pacific

7:23 pm on 4 July 2005

New Zealand's Council for International Development says the New Zealand government must do more to tackle extreme poverty in the Pacific.

Its executive director, Rae Julian, says New Zealand is off track for nearly all of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

These include reducing child mortality, combatting the spread of HIV/AIDs, and access to safe water - all categories in which only sub-Saharan Africa is further behind than the Pacific.

Ms Julian says for many years now the New Zealand Government has been dragging its heels over meeting international obligations to combat global poverty.

She says, as Bob Geldof has called on the G8 leaders to stop making excuses, so the New Zealand Government should stop making excuses.

New Zealand is spending 0.27 percent of Gross National Income on overseas aid, which CID has regularly pointed out is well short of the target of 0.7 percent.

Rae Julian says New Zealand is becoming isolated on this issue because most aid donors have set timetables for how they will achieve this goal.