Aid and development

Photo: Jerry Galea

For all developing countries, the amount of aid they receive and how it is spent is a critical part of their efforts to reduce poverty.

Because aid really works.

Millions more children around the world are now going to school - developing the skills needed to make a decent living and increasing their chances of breaking free from poverty.

And water and sanitation projects are now making it easier for people in developing countries to have access to clean, safe water – improving the health and livelihoods of some of the world’s poorest people.

But there is still more to be done.

Oxfam is working hard, encouraging governments such as our own New Zealand Government, and international organisations like the UN to meet their promises on aid, and to spend it more effectively - by targeting people who most need help.

Why should NZ commit to 0.7 percent of GNI spent on aid?

As many as 1.4 billion people in the developing world (one in four) are living in extreme poverty, on less than US$1.25 a day, according to the World Bank. If you take one of our closest neighbours, Vanuatu, at least 40 percent of the population lives below the National Basic Needs Poverty Line.

Oxfam believes New Zealand can do better. We need do our fair share in the fight on global poverty, especially in the Pacific, by reaching 0.7 percent Gross National Income (GNI) for overseas development by 2015. WE may not feel rich but New Zealand is collectively the 20th richest country per head out of 177 countries in the world, so we can afford to help the poorest in other countries. Moreover, a 2007 survey undertaken by UMR Research found that 76 percent of New Zealanders supported giving Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) and more than 60 percent of New Zealanders supported meeting the 0.7 percent target.

We should not only give aid because of a moral commitment to help others, but helping others in other countries will also make this a safer and more secure world for all. We welcome the recent increase in ODA in recent years but New Zealand was still only ranked 17th out of the 22 OECD countries for overseas aid spending per capita in 2007 as a proportion of national income.

Latest news

Focus on poverty urged as aid budget increases

May 22, 2015

Increases to New Zealand’s international aid budget announced yesterday are welcome, but there is concern about whether the money will reach the most vulnerable.

Political parties pledge to increase overseas aid

August 21, 2014

A survey of political parties looking at how much New Zealand should spend on Official Development Assistance (ODA) shows the overwhelming majority of parties are committed to raising the bar according to the Council for International Development (CID).

Aid must work better for Afghans in the next decade

July 6, 2012

Development gains made in Afghanistan over the last decade are in danger of being thrown away if levels of aid fall away in conjunction with the withdrawal of international troops in 2014.

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What are the Sustainable Development Goals?

September 30, 2015

The world has agreed a new set of 17 goals to guide global action to end poverty over the next 15 years. These goals are our best chance to realise a shared and lasting vision of prosperity for all. Let’s make sure it’s more than just words. Let’s make it happen.

Making overseas aid an election issue

August 14, 2014

As the election on September 20 draws nearer, efforts are being made to provide information about the parties' policies to help inform voters. To draw attention to the overseas aid budget and how it is spent, the Council for International Development (CID) asked the main political parties five questions about their policy on ODA.