AUSTRALIAN aid projects will be scaled-back as the result of this year’s Federal Budget, CARE Australia has warned.
CARE Australia Chief Executive Sally Moyle said the aid cuts announced in the budget, which follow years of consecutive cuts, would have devastating consequences.
“This is a selfish decision by the Federal Government,” Ms Moyle said.
“There is no reason for these cuts. Budget repair is well underway and it is shocking and deeply saddening that next year fewer children will be vaccinated, educated and lifted out of poverty.
“We are prosperous, we can help people move out of poverty – at home and abroad.
“We are a rich nation in a neighbourhood of developing nations and we should be doing all we can to support them. At a time when other world powers are investing in influence and diplomacy, it is reckless of Australia to be taking a step back.
“We’re part of a global community and we must do what we can to ensure everyone has access to things like education and health services, not just the privileged few.”
Ms Moyle said Australian aid was needed now more than ever.
“Myanmar refugees are suffering absolutely atrocious conditions brought on by monsoon rains in Bangladesh. Meanwhile, conditions in Syria and Yemen continue to deteriorate and there are fears East Africa could face another food crisis this year. This is a time when Australia should be stepping up not retreating.”
Ms Moyle said the unpredictable nature of the Australian aid budget had made it more difficult to respond to the long-term needs of people living in poverty, particularly in our own region.
“When Australian aid invests in women’s and children’s health, it saves lives. But like any good investment, aid needs extensive planning and predictable funding streams to be effective. This constant uncertainly helps no one and it’s the world’s poorest people who suffer as a result.”
CARE Australia is an international humanitarian aid organisation fighting poverty, with a special focus on working with women and girls to bring lasting change to their communities. www.care.org.au