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Fighting poverty is no longer mainly about helping poor people in poor countries. India is now classed as a ‘middle income’ country. Why do they still need aid programmes? The truth is that while countries like India have been able to improve their economic situation, they still have a lot of poor people. 72% of the world’s poor now live in ‘middle income’ countries that are regarded as stable, with non-fragile, or even strong economies.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were established to see some real progress on poverty issues for the beginning of the new millennium. While none of the MDGs will be completely achieved, they have helped us to make enormous progress. Next year will see the introduction of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These, as the name suggests, will have a strong emphasis on economic, environmental and social sustainability, not just for the poor countries, but for the developed countries as well. The sustainability of what we do in New Zealand has an impact on the other countries that we interact with.
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). (See survey here)
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 seven 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.
Kiwis applauded for their generosity on World Humanitarian Day
New Zealand aid organisations who work in disaster relief and emergency management thanked New Zealanders for their generosity towards humanitarian work around the globe on World Humanitarian Day (19th August, 2014).
Chair of the NGO Disaster Relief Forum, Ian McInnes said “Over recent months, the humanitarian landscape has become more complex. Scenes from Iraq and Gaza have regularly featured on our televisions and websites”.