THE Turnbull Government’s failure to restore the Australian aid budget is short-sighted and likely to damage Australia’s international reputation, aid agency CARE Australia has warned.
CARE Australia Chief Executive Julia Newton-Howes said the decision to maintain a $224 million cut to the aid budget was deeply disappointing.
“Australia has turned its back on the world’s poor once again,” Dr Newton-Howes said.
“The Government’s refusal to reverse the final scheduled cut to the aid budget means Australia will become the least generous we’ve ever been with the lowest ratio of aid to the size of our economy ever.
“It’s worth remembering that international aid funding makes up less than 1 per cent of the total national budget.
“And it is those most vulnerable who will bear the consequences of this short-sighted decision.”
Dr Newton-Howes welcomed the improved transparency of this year’s aid budget and modest increases to funding for humanitarian emergencies.
But, she said, with record numbers of people forced from their homes through conflict and climate change, Australia should being doing a lot more.
“Overall, the cuts will still be damaging to Australia’s international reputation and to our long-term interests, especially at a time when many other developed nations are increasing aid budgets.”
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. Donations to CARE’s Global Emergency Fund can be made at www.care.org.au.