Oxfam bitterly disappointed by Coalition cuts to overseas aid

Media Releases article written on the 08 Feb 2011

International development agency Oxfam Australia is bitterly disappointed that the Coalition has put forward a proposal to defer development assistance to Indonesia.

Oxfam Australia Executive Director Andrew Hewett says, “This is a short sighted announcement.

“It places a huge question mark over the Coalition’s previous bipartisan commitment to boosting aid spending. It’s hard to escape the conclusion that Mr Abbott is walking away from this commitment.

“These cuts would make it almost impossible to increase aid to 0.5 per cent of national income by 2015 and to ensure that money is being used effectively.

“This particular program is an investment in enhancing educational opportunities in one of our nearest neighbours.

“International evidence shows that attending school for an estimated nine years, a child can expect to have a longer life expectancy, better health and a higher income.

“If this cut is pursued, it not only affects the ordinary people of Indonesia but also Australia’s overall relationship with that country,” Mr Hewett said.

For more media information, or to interview Andrew Hewett, please contact: John Lindsay, Oxfam Australia Tel 03 9289 9413 or mob: 0425 701801 email: johnlindsay@oxfam.org.au