21 Sep 2006

New report says vital aid dollars are being diverted to combat terrorism

5:28 pm on 21 September 2006

A study of aid spending shows that half a billion people are worse off now than fifteen years ago.

The Reality of Aid 2006 report, issued by a coalition of international NGOs, says aid money is being diverted from the world's poorest people into terrorism and security considerations.

The executive director of the New Zealand Council for International Development, Rae Julian, says this is most obvious in Iraq and Afghanistan, but it is also apparent in the Pacific.

She says, in Papua New Guinea for example, a lot of help is needed to cope with the spread of HIV/Aids, yet Australia's aid emphasis has been on law and order.

"Now I am not saying that law and order is not important, what I am saying is that it should be a both/and, where in a country there is a need to provide stability, this should not divert from the basic needs of the people."