World Vision says Budget ‘24 overseas development allocation falls short

30 May 2024 by World Vision
World Vision says Budget ‘24 overseas development allocation falls short

World Vision New Zealand is disappointed Budget ’24 does not include an increase in New Zealand’s investment in Overseas Development Assistance for the next four years.

Today’s Budget, released by the Finance Minister Hon. Nicola Willis today, reveals that over the next four years $2.9 billion will be invested in foreign aid – a drop of 3% on the previous four years.

The country currently invests around 0.23% of its GNI in Overseas Development Aid and languishes fifth from bottom out of 30 OECD countrie in terms of generosity.

World Vision New Zealand says that the current investment falls well short of New Zealand’s long-term commitment to provide 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) in foreign aid.

The organisation’s National Director, Grant Bayldon, says the uncertain state of the world today makes Overseas Development Assistance more essential than ever before.

“The humanitarian crises that beset the world today are many and varied. There is conflict, climate change, extreme poverty, a global hunger crisis and millions of displaced people. Our contribution to Overseas Development Aid is an investment into the world we all want to live in. It helps children and families to survive and thrive, and ultimately ensures we all live in a more stable and secure world.

“Increasing foreign aid is a responsibility we must take seriously as a global citizen and good neighbour,” Bayldon says.

He says a recent OECD report recommends New Zealand increase its Overseas Development Assistance to 0.7% of GNI, as the country agreed to do in the 1970s.

“New Zealand’s foreign aid has remained stagnant at around 0.23% for half a century. When other countries are meeting or exceeding their international obligations, it’s not right for New Zealand to not be doing our bit.

“It's time for New Zealand to match the 0.7% benchmark, starting with a 10% increase in child-related investment,” Bayldon says.

World Vision hoped to see a greater focus on funding development work that targets children because the impact of aid investment in children is 10 times what is put in.

Despite this, a recent report from World Vision and EY found that in 2021, only 7% of New Zealand’s ODA directly targeted children.

“Investing in children is more important than ever before and is particularly relevant for New Zealand’s aid contributions in the Pacific where half the population is under 23. A significant proportion of our aid budget goes to the Pacific and we need to ensure this funding is targeting children and young people to help support them to have the best possible start in life,” Bayldon says.