Christian World Service, Oxfam and World Vision with the backing of ten other leading aid agencies have launched a petition calling for the government to adopt a Collective Resilience Plan – a three-year roadmap to boost New Zealand aid and climate finance.
As the coronavirus pandemic threatens to undo decades of progress in the fight against poverty, the Collective Resilience Plan outlines critical steps to improve New Zealand’s action to solve global problems. The plan includes a 20% boost to the overall aid budget, equating to $500 million over three years, focused on healthcare, social protection and community resilience. It wants to double funding for overseas climate action for frontline countries from new and additional sources, equating to $500 million, and a timeline for increasing New Zealand’s aid spend to meet the global target of 0.7% of Gross National Income by 2030.
Rachael Le Mesurier, spokesperson for the group and executive director of Oxfam New Zealand, said while New Zealand had so far managed to control the pandemic successfully, the rest of the world had been hit incredibly hard by the crisis.
“We are facing unprecedented global health and economic crises,” said Le Mesurier. “The stark reality is that, as we speak, decades of progress against poverty and inequality is being unravelled. We are at a crucial tipping point with millions more people being pushed into poverty, and countries already grappling with the threat of climate breakdown now facing the economic downturn of the century driven by the global pandemic,” she said.
The United Nations reports 265 million people could face starvation by the end of the year and last month launched a NZ$15.7 billion appeal, the largest ever.
CWS National Director Pauline McKay said containing the pandemic required a united, global approach to keep everyone safe, especially the most vulnerable.
“Many people are living on the brink of death and poverty and we are in a position to help. It is time to increase the government’s aid vote from 0.28 per cent of Gross National Income to meet the challenge,” says Pauline McKay.
“The admirable way Kiwis have looked after some of our most vulnerable here in New Zealand shows what we can achieve when communities work together,” says Pauline. “This pandemic has highlighted just how connected we all are, and it’s crucial we stand together with our international neighbours, now when it’s most critically needed.”
July 22, 2020