The Government has announced it is pouring more money into the Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA) programme.
Today, Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully announced a three-year support package of $24 million to help place skilled New Zealand volunteers in developing countries.
"The Government wants more New Zealanders to be involved in the delivery of our aid programme. VSA now has a strong focus on supporting economic development and is delivering more opportunities for volunteers in the Pacific," said McCully.
VSA is New Zealand's largest and most experienced overseas volunteer-sending agency. The organisation has around 70 volunteers in the field in 13 countries at any one time.
In the last year alone VSA volunteers have helped provide drinking water and sanitation facilities for more than 3000 people as well as treating more than 200 patients.
"VSA is also offering more short-term assignments and partnering with other New Zealand organisations such as Downer NZ, Tuia International, World Vision and Rotary NZ to access more New Zealanders with specific expertise," McCully says.
More than 3500 skilled New Zealanders have worked on volunteer assignments overseas since 1962.