Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pacific Strategy Launch

Foreign Minister Winston Peters today launched the New Zealand’s Pacific development strategy – a strategy to guide New Zealand’s aid and development assistance in the Pacific.

New Zealand is a Pacific nation and our links with our neighbours are long-standing and far reaching. It’s a vibrant relationship that traverses every aspect of our society – from sport and religion to family, culture and environment.

After sub-Saharan Africa, the Pacific region will need to work the hardest to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, the internationals agreed poverty reduction and development targets.

The challenges are great. In Papua New Guinea, there are few roads, housing is poor, many children die from preventable diseases, economic growth has struggled to keep pace with population increases. Compare this with Tuvalu, a small island state of dispersed atolls, vulnerable to rising sea levels and extreme weather.

The Pacific Strategy sets out the direction and of New Zealand’s aid effort until 2015 and will support Pacific people to make lasting and positive change in their own communities.

New Zealand will shape it’s assistance around four pillars; improving health and education, promoting economic growth, reducing vulnerabilities and strengthening governance and leadership.

Over the next 8 years the New Zealand government will spend more than $2 billion in the region, assuming aid levels remain the same.

The strategy will ensure a focussed and effective approach to aid work said Winston Peters at the launch, noting that aid is only part of the answer.

“The strategy sets out New Zealand’s expectation that the Pacific region, and individual Pacific countries will take up the challenge and do the work necessary to lift their own citizens out of poverty.”

For more details about the Pacific strategy, visit www.nzaid.govt.nz



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