08 July 2009
NZ increases aid to Samoa
Prime Minister John Key’s visit to Samoa has furthered advanced the unique “Treaty of Friendship” relationship between Samoa and New Zealand.
Mr Key met Head of State, His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi before meeting with Samoa’s Prime Minister.
“During my discussions with Prime Minster Tuilaepa I outlined New Zealand’s intention to enhance our aid programme to Samoa.
“Development assistance to Samoa will increase from $10.5 million to $14 million this year.
“We are also keen to pursue a formal 'Framework for Engagement' with Samoa that will guide our strengthened joint development assistance effort.
“The increase reflects the Government’s commitment to a greater development impact in the Pacific, as well our strong ties with Samoa and the significant people-to-people links our two countries share.
“As agreed with the Government of Samoa, development assistance will focus on education, health, including funding to combat the impact of the H1N1 virus, public service improvement and private sector development.
”The current global economic crisis, inflation, and increasing unemployment also require us to consider new ways of delivering assistance where it is most needed.
“As part of this, New Zealand together with Australia have agreed to provide assistance for Samoan families struggling to pay school fees, with New Zealand contributing $1 million to this initiative.
“New Zealand is committed to supporting Samoa and our other Pacific neighbours’ efforts to weather the effects of the global financial crisis and giving ongoing practical support to ensure Samoa’s long-term economic development.”
New Zealand’s bilateral aid programme with Samoa will increase to $14 million in 2009/10, $15 million in 2010/11, and $17 million in 2011/12.
Prime Minister Key also took the opportunity during his visit to sign a Visiting Forces Agreement with Samoa. The Agreement will facilitate New Zealand Defence Force participation in relevant exercises in Samoa, and build on the cooperation that New Zealand already enjoys with Samoa in defence matters.Tweet