14 Sep 2005

New Zealand Council for International Development calls for better quality of aid

8:32 am on 14 September 2005

New Zealand's Council for International Development says countries like New Zealand need to focus more on the quality of aid being given to developing countries in the Pacific.

The CID's executive director Rae Julian says many Pacific countries are facing increasing poverty levels approaching those of the world's poorest countries, such as those in sub-Saharan Africa.

Ms Julian was speaking on the eve of the release of the United Nations 2005 Human Development Report which comes ahead of a UN summit in New York where progress on the Millennium Development Goals are to be considered.

Globally, the UN report repeats calls for developed countries to give point seven of one percent of their income in aid to developing countries by 2015 at the latest.

New Zealand currently gives just point two three percent and Ms Julian says New Zealand needs to do more.

"What we've also got to look at is the quality of the aid. What are the issues? Are we addressing the right things? And even if we are addressing the right things, are we addressing them in the right way? And I think in the past - with PNG in particular - there has been a lot of top down aid. Giving money through governments which doesn't necessarily reach where the real problems are."