16 May 2014

Aid agencies say NZ needs to up its game

8:26 am on 16 May 2014

The New Zealand aid sector says the country is well short of meeting its international commitments and needs to double its aid contribution to one billion a year.

In the 2014 Budget just released the New Zealand Official Development Assistance will increase by nearly $220 million spread over three years, starting in 2015.

Total spending over this period will be $1.89 billion compared to nearly $1.67 billion in the current three year period.

But the Council for International Development, which is the umbrella organisation for most of the organisations working in NZ's aid sector, says waiting until next year before making modest increases is disappointing.

Its director, Dr Wren Green, says New Zealand's aid budget has been too low for too long while developing countries have been hit hard by the after effects of the world financial crisis.

Dr Green says it is tempting to see any increase in aid as a good thing but New Zealand is currently lagging behind at 16th on the league table of rich nations giving just 0.26 percent of our gross national income away.