THE Government’s decision to again slash Australia’s aid budget reveals a shocking disregard for the massive challenges facing the world, aid agency World Vision Australia said.
World Vision Australia chief executive Tim Costello said the Government’s decision to cut the aid program by $3.7 billion over four years is a breach of faith with the Australian people as well as the world’s poorest people.
“When is this madness going to stop?” Mr Costello said. “Every six months for the past three years, the aid budget has been sliced into.
“The latest cut means the Government has siphoned off a total of $11.3 billion over the past year – that’s an outrageous sum of money for a wealthy country to deny vulnerable people.
“The globe is currently facing the most pressing humanitarian burden since World War II, and Australia is not immune from the flow-on effects of these problems.
“This decision by the Government shows they are totally out of touch with not only Australian values, but also with what’s happening in the world today.”
In the 1970s, Australia gave 0.65 per cent of national income to overseas aid, which was one of the most generous in the world. World Vision estimates today’s decision brings that figure down to just 0.22 per cent of GNI, around a third of that given by Conservative-led Britain.
Mr Costello said that continual change has thrown the Australian aid program into a permanent state of uncertainty – undermining its very effectiveness.
“The government is brazenly undermining its own aid policy – which purports to focus on effective ways to assist nations and communities to become self-reliant,“ Mr Costello said. “The truth is you can’t have an effective aid program if the rule book changes every six months.
“By making these cuts, the Government is making an active choice to retreat from complex global challenges.”
Source: World Vision Australia