23 Jul 2012

More money to be found for Pacific family planning

5:08 am on 23 July 2012

The New Zealand Parliamentarians' Group on Population and Development is confident more money will be made available from the New Zealand aid programme for family planning in the Pacific.

An international conference in London earlier this month heard commitments of up to 3 billion US dollars for family planning programmes in developing countries.

But the group says New Zealand also needs to do more because at the moment only a fraction of the aid budget goes to family planning.

The current focus of the aid programme is on sustainable economic development, but the Group's chair, Government MP Dr Jackie Blue, says Foreign Affairs officials have assured them there is a link between family planning and economic development.

"That was a link they made and they affirmed that so we encouraged that they could see it is a very basic step that needs to be taken. Otherwise Pacific Islands countries getting aid will be forever reliant on aid as their populations grow and their resources diminish."