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We get a tick for Disaster Response

New Zealand has a big heart when someone is in trouble and our response rate to disasters is commendable says the recently released Humanitarian Response Index (HRI) 2010.

The Index, produced by the Madrid based Development Assistance Research Associates (DARA), an independent international watchdog, placed New Zealand third among donor countries responding to disasters.

“New Zealand is among ‘Group 1 Donors’ with Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. These donors are characterised by scores consistently above the overall OECD/DAC average,” the Report said.

The Group 1 countries scored 6.27 (on a ten-point scale), while the OECD/DAC average of 5.89.

A Maxim Institute Commentary said quality is as important as quantity when it comes to foreign aid.

“New Zealand ranked high because of our quick response to disasters and our learning and accountability in terms of aid practice. One area identified for New Zealand to improve was in the funding of NGOs to deliver humanitarian work.”

“DARA monitors the effectiveness of a donor country’s aid assistance, considering whether such aid becomes politicised and whether the country supports humanitarian organisations. It also evaluates the extent to which the donor country strengthens local resilience to prevent future disasters,” it said.

DARA recognises expertise in providing support to humanitarian aid as well as climate change and disaster risk reduction management.

The organisation conducted evaluations of humanitarian operations in over 40 countries across five continents for Governments, European Union countries and the UN. It also monitors the activities of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

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