The New Zealand Government has announced an increase in its development assistance budget, with the Pacific a key focus.
On 8 May, New Zealand Foreign Minister, Vaovasamanaia Winston Peters, outlined a budget increase of NZ$714 million (T$1.2billion) for New Zealand’s development cooperation over the next four years.
New Zealand High Commissioner to Samoa, David Nicholson, says this is a clear and positive message about New Zealand’s relationship with Samoa and the wider region.
“New Zealand is of the Pacific, we want our region to thrive, and we value the close connections that we enjoy,” said Mr. Nicholson.
“With this funding, we will assist all of our Pacific partners to make progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals; support youth across the region with access to health services, education and training; support good governance, human rights, and gender equality; and promote the sustainable and inclusive growth of Pacific economies.
Climate change is another area signalled for particular support, and much of this will be directed at the Pacific.
“We will support Samoa to reduce their vulnerability to the impacts of climate change and build climate resilience, as well as meet their emissions targets,” Mr. Nicholson said.
“This announcement is good news for Samoa, and the wider Pacific, and we look forward to continuing to work with the Government of Samoa in the further development of our Countries’ shared priorities.”