Overseas Aid

The OECD stats on overseas aid are out, and they show NZ near the bottom. However first a couple of things to remember.

1) They only measure government aid, not total aid which is more important in my opinion.

2) They measure it as a % of GDP, rather than as a % of government spending which again IMO is more appropriate.

I would focus on two measures – govt aid as a % of govt spending and total aid as a % of GDP – that is comparing apples with apples. Also important to note that 2005 saw unusually high levels of aid due to debt writeoffs, so comparisons over time are more useful.

Total official aid in 2006 was US$116 billion which isn’t chicken feed. That’s the entire NZ economy for a year.

Having said that, I’m not against increasing our aid levels from 0.27%, so long as they are tied to good governance and democracy.

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