OECD urges New Zealand to raise it overseas aid game

23 Jun 15

New Zealand is a valued development partner for its small island neighbours but the amount of aid it provides lags behind other donors that sit on the OECD’s development assistance committee (DAC), the organisation has concluded.

New Zealand increased its official development assistance to $502m in 2014, up from $441m in 2013, the OECD said.

However, this was equivalent to 0.27% of New Zealand’s gross national income, somewhat below the DAC member average of 0.39%.

The OECD admitted that New Zealand had delivered aid effectively and used its experience of natural disasters to help manage risk in the region.

But it urged the country to use its economic recovery as an opportunity to raise its ambitions and set a timeframe for lifting its aid budget towards an internationally agreed target for donor countries of 0.7% of gross national income.

Erik Solheim, DAC chair, said New Zealand should be commended for its hard work in some of the most vulnerable and disaster-prone parts of the world, particularly in its own Pacific region.

“But its ODA-to-GNI ratio has not exceeded 0.3% in recent years, which does not compare well with countries of a similar size.

“I encourage New Zealand to do more of what it already does well.”

In 2013, the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Tokelau, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, Niue, Afghanistan, the Cook Islands and Kiribati benefited the most from New Zealand’s aid, the OECD added.

  • Judith Ugwumadu
    Judith Ugwumadu

    Judith writes about public finance, public services and economics across Public Finance International and Public Finance. She previously undertook reporting stints at Financial Adviser, Global Security Finance and The Sunday Express.

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