It really is pretty bloody cool that Aunty Helen is in charge of UNDP. I met her here in Goma at a cocktail party organised in honour of her visit. Forgetting that we weren’t in NZ for a minute I bowled right up to her at the buffet bar, and was promptly surrounded by two burly Russian minders wearing lots of gold chains. She seemed almost at startled as me but was very pleasant and interested, chatting about Goma and even offering job-hunting tips.

For those of us so very fortunate to have been born in New Zealand, it is hard to understand how such utterly basic things like having enough food to eat, healthcare if you get sick or get pregnant, and access to school are just not even an option to people in places like eastern Congo.

An increase in aid spending by developed countries is important, but more important still is how the money is spent. Thats why its great that smart women like Helen get to be in positions that can really make a difference.