NZADDs update: Pacific Publishing, conferences, we gave how much to the Global Fund?

Hi and welcome to an NZADDs email update,

Journal opportunity for Pacific Scholars
Are you a researcher from a Pacific Island country or of Pacific heritage? Do you have insights into aid and development in the Pacific? Would you like to publish a short academic article in the UK-based journal Development Policy Review? If the answer is ‘yes’, please consider submitting something to the journal’s upcoming Pacific author special issue. You can read their call for contributions here. You can read a short blog summarising it here. The first task is submitting an abstract to them before 18 November.

DevNet 2022
The Aotearoa New Zealand Development Studies network will hold its biennial conference in Auckland in December this year. It’s New Zealand’s foremost academic conference on aid and development, and a great opportunity to learn and meet people. The deadline for early bird registrations is 14 October. Read more here.

2022 Australasian Aid Conference
After a break due to Covid, the Australasian Aid Conference is back on in Canberra. Run by the Development Policy Centre (my employer), it’s Australia’s top aid and development conference. It covers the Asia-Pacific and beyond. It’s an excellent conference for engaging with regional and global issues. This year’s conference runs from 28-30 November. Read more here.

We gave how much to the Global Fund?!?
The seventh Global Fund pledging round has just finished. In it, donors promised funding over the years 2023 to 2025.

The Global Fund plays a crucial role in the world’s battle against HIV, TB, and Malaria. Since the pandemic, it has also been an important part of the Covid-19 response.

The Global Fund is, in other words, a crucial global public good, fighting deadly diseases. Don’t take my word for it, here’s what MFAT had to say on Twitter after New Zealand made its pledge: “Only through global cooperation and collective action can we save millions more lives, protect vulnerable people by preventing infection & end HIV, TB & malaria.”

So how much has New Zealand promised to give to the Global Fund over the three year period covered by the next pledging round? NZ $2.5 million.

$2.5 million?

That is, no matter which way you look at it, next to nothing.

From 2022 to 2025 New Zealand’s total aid spend will be over NZ $3.5 billion.

Our contributions to the Global Fund will, in other words, sum to less than 0.1% of our aid spending. Less than one tenth of one percent. (And if it seems to you like we give a lot of aid overall, we don’t. Our aid amounts to less than 1% of government spending.)

Over the next three years Australia, which is not an unusually generous donor to the Global Fund, will give about NZ $300 million, or 2% of its aid, to the Fund. If you compare relative effort (Australia’s 2% versus NZ’s 0.1%) you’ll see that Australia’s focus on the Global Fund is set to be nearly 30 times greater than ours.

To look at it another way, New Zealand gave NZ$34 million in aid to Cook Islands in 2019-20. That went up to over $50 million in 2020-21, but primarily because of Covid.) Cook Islands is now so wealthy that the OECD no longer considers it a legitimate aid recipient. It is also tiny (population about 17,500). I think we should keep giving aid to the Cooks. But we will give less than $1 million a year to the Global Fund in coming years. We will give more than 30 times that much to the Cooks. If we can support the Cooks in this way, couldn’t we be doing better to help tackle deadly diseases globally?

Maybe there’s a good explanation for our unwillingness to help the Global Fund. If there is, I’d love to hear it.