The Solomon Islands will stand to benefit from an increase in aid of NZD$12.8 million from New Zealnd.

The New Zealand government has recently announced a NZD$70 million boost to overseas aid in its recent budget. The 20.2 per cent rise over the 2007/08 financial year was the biggest increase to official development assistance in decades, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said. "The Government is committed to playing its part in helping the poor and vulnerable"

Mr Peters said NZ Aid, the Government's international aid and development agency, was well placed to manage the new funding.

Oxfam New Zealand executive director Barry Coates welcomed the announcement.
"A prosperous, sustainable and peaceful region is not only of benefit to those living in poverty, but to every Kiwi. The Government should be congratulated for recognizing this."

In making the announcement Mr Peters stated in the New Zealand Herald that the Solomon Islands will receive a total of NZD$30.84m, up NZD$12.8m. The increase is equivalent to at least SBD$72 m. Much of the aid will go to post-tsunami recovery efforts in Western Province and Choiseul.