20 Apr 2010

NZ govt's re-allocation of development funds described as tragic

9:39 pm on 20 April 2010

A spokesperson for a United Nations development fund says the New Zealand government's decision to change the way it allocates millions of dollars of development funding is a tragedy.

The New Zealand government is redesigning its allocation of a 15 million US dollar community development fund and a 3.5 million dollar humanitarian assistance fund.

The Foreign Minister, Murray McCully says the money will no longer be adminstered by a committee of NGOs, but by officials to resolve perceptions of unfairness.

But Rae Julian the National President of UNIFEM NZ says the funds were rigorously monitored.

She also says the Minister's focus on funding for economic development could see worthwhile social programmes scrapped.

"NGOs that are getting the fund, they are working of the poorest of the poor, these are people who they want to get their children to school, these are immediate needs. Social development must often precede economic development."

Rae Julian says the funds showed how government could work in partnership with civil organisations