AUSTRALIA’S commitment to maintain its humanitarian intake at 18,750 was a disappointing response to the world refugee crisis – and still short of the 20,000 refugee intake before the election of Tony Abbott’s Coalition Government, World Vision Australia chief executive Tim Costello said.
Mr Costello said while the announcement of an extra $130 million over three years to support refugees in countries of first asylum was welcome, Malcolm Turnbull would leave New York having made no substantial new commitments on refugees and no announcement on how his government would resolve the situation of refugees trapped in limbo on Manus and Nauru.
He said the announcement that Australia would resettle refugees from Central America was perplexing and he looked forward to the government’s explanation.
“Malcolm Turnbull has acknowledged that the world is facing a migration and refugee crisis, but his response is very disappointing,” Mr Costello said.
“In a world where 65 million people are now forcibly displaced from their homes, and where more than 20 million people – half of them children – have been turned into refugees, we are not even back to where we were when Tony Abbott was elected.”
Mr Costello said the government was dealing in half-truths when it claimed Australia had one of the most generous and compassionate resettlement programs in the world, had a “good story” to tell on refugees, and was a model for the rest of the world to follow.
“The fact is that Australia can and should do more for people who are running for their lives,” he said. “Taking more refugees will not make Australia a worse country, it will make us a better country.”
Mr Costello said World Vision had hoped to see an extraordinary commitment to deal with an extraordinary international refugee crisis, but the New York summits had resulted in no more than business as usual. World Vision, like many other humanitarian agencies, had called for Australia to lift its humanitarian intake from 13,750 to 30,000 in 2018-19.
Find out more about World Vision’s Syria work.
Story Source: World Vision Australia
Ryan Fritz started The Advocate in 2014 to provide not-for-profits and charities another media platform to tell their worthwhile hard news stories and opinion pieces effortlessly. In 2020, Ryan formed a team of volunteer journalists to help spread even more high-quality stories from the third sector. He also has over 10 years experience as a media and communications professional for not-for-profits and charities and currently works at Redkite, a childhood cancer charity.