13 May 2010

Australia's aid budget is not focussed as closely on Pacific as NZ - official

10:51 am on 13 May 2010

An Australian government spokesman says geographical differences mean its aid budget is not focussed as closely on the Pacific as New Zealand.

As part of its budget, the Australian Government says it will increase overseas development assistance funding from point-31 percent of gross national income in the last financial year, to point-five percent in 2015.

The Parliament Secretary for International Development, Bob Mc Mullan says aid to the Pacific will go up by about 53 million US dollars in the next financial year.

But he says the Pacific's percentage of aid may decrease slightly, and he accepts that unlike New Zealand, his government is not focussing its aid policy on the region.

"Australia is closely adjacent to Asia, we have an Indian ocean coastline as well. And so we are in the global development business. New Zealand is too through their multilateral agencies but its harder for New Zealand, the geography is different."

Bob McMullan says the PNG government's indication that it doesn't need more aid has contributed to the percentage decline in the Pacific.