2 May 2012

Warning against boomerang effect in NZ aid change

2:37 pm on 2 May 2012

As it consults over a planned new approach to foreign aid funding, the New Zealand government is being advised to ensure those involved do so to help poor people and not allow the money to filter back to businesses in this country.

Consultations over the proposed NZ Partnerships for International Development end on Friday.

The new fund would be contestable by non-government organisations, the state sector and private businesses.

A spokesperson for New Zealand Aid and Development Dialogues, Jo Spratt, says expanding the private sector in developing countries is crucial to alleviating poverty, but the government has to ensure the allocated money goes to helping poor people, not assisting New Zealand businesses.

"What the aid programme has to guard against in firming up this fund, if it does go ahead, is making sure that if private sector organisations, private businesses, do engage in aid work, they are doing so to help advance the opportunities of poor in countries that receive our aid, rather than bouncing back to New Zealand to help New Zealand businesses."