23 Mar 2009

Top UN official calls on New Zealand to increase development aid

9:42 pm on 23 March 2009

A top United Nations official has called on New Zealand to increase its overseas aid to help lessen the impact of the global financial crisis on poorer nations, particularly in the Pacific region.

Salil Shetty, the director of the UN's Millennium Campaign to eliminate world poverty, says New Zealand's commitment of point-three-five percent of national income needs to increase.

"New Zealand has made a very important contribution to the achievement of the goals, particularly in the Pacific but globally as well. Its really important at this time of crisis we recommit ourselves to the needs of the poorest people who don't have the capacity to handle a shock like this."

Salil Shetty says the recession has compounded the impact on poor nations of food and climate crises.