4 Apr 2007

Oxfam urges New Zealand to increase aid budget

4:07 pm on 4 April 2007

The non-governmental organisation, Oxfam New Zealand, says it hopes the Government will keep his promise to increase its foreign aid budget and to start the process of catching up on aid levels in the upcoming budget.

A report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development or OECD's says New Zealand is the sixth lowest foreign aid giver, based on the percentage of gross national income spent on overseas development assistance.

Oxfam New Zealand's executive director, Barry Coates, says this is a critical time for the international aid effort as some Pacific countries are facing multiple pressures.

Mr Coates says he hopes the government will honour its promise it made before the last election to increase the aid budget.

"There is a human reality at the end of these aid figures and we really hope that New Zealand is going to play its part and essentially do what kiwis think that the country is all about which is being good global citizens being generous those who are really in need."

Barry Coates says New Zealand foreign aid does work and the government needs to give more of it.