20 Dec 2005

Growing New Zealand Government support for increased aid spending welcomed

6:01 pm on 20 December 2005

New Zealand's Council for International Development has welcomed calls from within the New Zealand Government that it spend more on international aid.

The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee says the Government should ensure aid spending reaches the United Nations goal of point seven of one percent of Gross National income by 2015.

This comes after a 14,000-signature petition calling on the Government to commit to the UN-agreed target.

The Council says the Committee's call is the first time that any part of the Government has promoted this target date.

The Council's executive director, Rae Julian, says New Zealand ranks near the bottom of the OECD in percentages of aid spending, but it is vitally important that it pulls its weight in this area.

She says increased aid spending is essential to ensure that the Millennium Development Goals of halving extreme poverty over the next decade are achieved..