13 Jul 2011

The disabled marginalised by aid focus change - claim

3:03 pm on 13 July 2011

The Pacific Disability Forum says people living with disabilities are being marginalised from the aid process, especially with the New Zealand focus on economic development.

A regional meeting of development groups has called for people to be brought to the centre of development.

The forum's CEO, Setareki Macanawai says his organisation's funding was cut by the New Zealand government last month.

He says while Australia's aid organisation has stepped in to pick up the funding, as with 800,000 people with disabilities across the region, the money is sorely needed.

"We would like to raise that argument with the New Zealand Aid programme, that even with the focus on economic development there will still need [to] be a provision towards people with disabilities to get them out of poverty so they can become economically contributing members of their society. I think there still has to be a human face even in an economic argument."

Setareki Macanawai says he has asked for a meeting with NZ Aid Programme officials next month.