Solomon Islands

New Zealand Red Cross welcomes increase in aid budget

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The announcement of a $70 million increase in the New Zealand governments' international aid budget has been welcomed by New Zealand Red Cross.

Foreign Affairs minister Winston Peters announced the budget increase earlier this week in Auckland.

"The increased funding will go where it is most urgently needed, in the Pacific and in Asia. Over half of the new money will be spend in the Pacific, particularly in the Melanesian countries of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, where the need is the greatest," said Mr Peters.

The new funding will be managed by the government's international aid and development agency NZAID.

Mr Peters says NZAID puts considerable emphasis on streamlining operations to ensure the bureaucratic processes do not eat into the resources required for effective development projects.

New Zealand Red Cross welcomes the announcement and as a multi lateral partner with NZAID particularly welcomes the increase in core funding and special projects.

"The Red Cross Red Crescent movement is an agency recognised as a valuable partner under NZAID's multilateral programme. The increased funding will allow us to continue to expand the humanitarian support the movement provides worldwide, helping the most vulnerable," said New Zealand Red Cross chief executive John Ware.

NZAID funds a significant component of New Zealand Red Cross' international aid worker programme. Currently New Zealand Red Cross has 29 aid workers deployed in the field across 16 countries.

Spread across the world in the Pacific, Asia and Africa, New Zealand aid workers are using their expertise in fields such as health, construction, logistics, disaster management and water and sanitation projects to lend a helping hand to some of the world's most vulnerable people.