25 May 2005

New Zealand's CID says EU has set aid challenge

6:40 pm on 25 May 2005

New Zealand's Council for International Development says the European Union has thrown down the gauntlet to countries like New Zealand over their commitment to international aid.

15 European countries say they will increase aid by 2010 to point five one of a percent of Gross National Income and will reach point seven of a percent by 2015.

This is in line with the United Nations' Millennium Goals.

However New Zealand, despite an increase in aid in last week's Budget, is contributing just point two seven of one percent, and will increase this level only fractionally by 2007.

Barry Coates, the Deputy Chairman of the CID, which is campaigning to encourage New Zealand to increase its aid levels to point seven, says this country is lagging behind most OECD countries.

He says 2005 is a crucial year for development by the global anti-poverty movement, which in New Zealand is being promoted by a coalition called Make Poverty History.

Mr Coates says CID wants to see an anti-poverty focus in the government's policies on all issues that affect poverty, including aid levels, trade rules and debt relief.