A survey of political parties looking at how much New Zealand should spend on Official Development Assistance shows the overwhelming majority of parties are committed to raising the bar according to the Council for International Development (CID).
CID, the umbrella organisation for the majority of the organisations working in the aid sector, put five questions to the 14 parties registered (as of June 2014) for the election. Of the 11 who responded eight said they are committed to reaching the internationally agreed target of 0.7% of GNI which would more than double the present aid budget. This included National, Labour and the Greens.
“Our aid budget has been too low for too long while the problems facing those living in extreme poverty are becoming more complex with issues around climate change and political instability. This result shows most of our political parties recognise New Zealand must be a credible part of a global push to alleviate poverty as part of working towards sustainable development, “says Dr Wren Green, CID Director.
Dr Green says for the price of a takeaway coffee per week for every New Zealander our country to could double its ODA. “Increasing our aid budget to $1 billion a year will make a real difference to increasing opportunities and addressing inequality, especially in the Pacific.” The majority of political parties signalled they would facilitate a return to a strategic partnership between government and NGOs working in development which would capitalise on the work NGOs do in close partnership with communities in developing countries. “Good, sustainable development means listening to those we are aiming to help, finding out what is needed and giving people ownership of the process,” says Dr Green.
In the answers to the CID questions, the majority of parties also agreed that a cross-party, non-partisan approach to ODA could help develop better outcomes in development.
The supporters of New Zealand NGOs working in development number in the hundreds of thousands. Dr Green says these Kiwis give generously because they believe in a better, more equal world and they expect their politicians to reflect that in their policies.
CWS is a member of CID. The Council for International Development is the umbrella agency for international development organisations based in Aotearoa New Zealand. CID exists to support effective high quality aid and development programmes, with the vision of achieving a sustainable world free from poverty and injustice.
20 August 2014