AMIDST swirling rumours, the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), the nation’s peak body for overseas aid and humanitarian charities, welcomes the confirmation by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Foreign Affairs that Australia’s aid will not be used further to make up budget shortfalls, including for defence responsibilities.
“We welcome the PM and Foreign Minister’s comments today that they will abide by the funding commitments they have made to Australia’s aid program,” Marc Purcell, Executive Director of ACFID, said.
“Australia’s aid is doing outstanding work to build peace and security in our region and around the world. Now would not be the time to make further cuts to this program which delivers significant results,” he said.
“The Foreign Minister has a clear vision for poverty alleviation and prosperity in our region and has moved quickly to release a comprehensive and forward-looking aid policy framework.
“Cutting funds now from Australia’s aid would simply undermine the Government’s own aims,” Mr Purcell said.
“Despite all the talk, our aid budget makes up a small component of Australia’s Federal Budget—just 1.3%, and makes a substantial difference to the lives of people around the world,” he said.
“Last year Australia’s aid ensured that 10 million children were vaccinated, 4 million boys and girls were enrolled in school and 1.2 million school children were given nutritional support.
“Further, 2.3 million poor people were able to access financial services that enabled them to pull themselves out of poverty,” he concluded.