NEW ZEALAND BEHIND IN PACIFIC AID COMMITMENTS

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Current budget half of prescribed goal

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, May 25, 2010) – Aid agency Oxfam has accused the New Zealand government of falling behind in its foreign aid commitments to the Pacific.

Oxfam New Zealand director Barry Coates says the aid allowance the government made in the current budget is about of half the target set by the United Nations.

"But it's also coming towards the end of the period of which countries are going to have to report on progress against the Millenium Development Goals," he said.

"And the last time there was an interim report, the Pacific was rated one of the regions of the world - along with sub-saharan Africa - that was failing to meet progress targets.

"There are clear signs that New Zealand needs to do more in order to help our Pacific neighbours address real problems that need investment and need our attention."

The Millennium Development Goals are eight international development targets that UN nations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015.

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