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NZ continues to donate to aid causes despite covid

Ōtautahi – Funding for New Zealand’s aid charities has held steady despite covid, closed borders and the inability for aid workers to travel.

The Council for International Development (CID) released its annual survey of the aid sector today. CID is the umbrella organisation for New Zealand’s aid agencies and partners.

Head of CID Josie Pagani says at a time when New Zealand’s charities would expect to see a big drop in donations because of covid, New Zealanders have maintained their support for people in far worse situations overseas.

This is despite the world giving index 2021, which measures all charitable giving (not just aid) per country, showing New Zealand dropping to 7th most generous country, having been ranked 5th for many years.

Total financial support for aid charities was $196 million in 2020-2021. While this is a decrease from a high of $215 million in 2016-2017, it is similar to the amount in the year before covid.

Confidence amongst the sector has also increased from last year when covid first emerged. A total of 58 percent of respondents believe their revenue will increase over the next financial year compared to 30 percent last year.

Other key findings:

  • Partnerships between aid charities and the private sector have dropped for the first time in years – from 66 percent the year before to 46 percent this year.
  • Number of volunteers in the aid sector has increased by 10 percent this year, and now out-number paid staff.
  • This signals increased support from the public, but longer-term sustainability risk
  • Aid charities have global reach. Top 10 countries for development spend have Uganda at the top, followed by Papua New Guinea and Fiji in the Pacific, and Afghanistan and Myanmar.
  • For the first time, India, Lebanon and Ethiopia are in the top 10 – after New Zealanders donated in response to delta outbreaks in India, the bomb blast in Lebanon and increasing famines in Ethiopia.

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