Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s budget must keep her promise to the world’s poorest people, international aid agency Oxfam Australia said today.
Oxfam Australia Executive Director Andrew Hewett said Oxfam would be expecting tomorrow’s budget to make real progress on its commitment to increase Australia’s aid budget to 0.5 per cent of our national income by 2015 – a promise made by both major parties at the last election.
“That means the equivalent of 50 cents in every $100 of Australia’s national income will go towards improving the lives of poor people around the world,” Mr Hewett said.
“This is about more than keeping our word. At the end of the day it’s about saving lives.
“A growing Australian aid program will help the world’s poorest people, including millions of our nearest neighbours in countries such as Timor-Leste, Myanmar and Papua New Guinea who live on less than $2 a day,” Mr Hewett said.
“This bipartisan promise from both the Labor Party and the Coalition will help us to lift many more people out of poverty as we head towards the 2015 deadline for the UN Millennium Development Goals that aim to halve the number of people living in poverty.
“A strong aid program also has the support of millions of Australians who want to live in a more secure and prosperous region, and want to see their country help create a fairer world without poverty. We will be watching on budget night to see the government take steps toward that future.”
Note to editors: Andrew Hewett is in Canberra on Tuesday 8 May and Wednesday 8 May and is available for comment.
For interviews or more information contact Oxfam Australia Media Coordinator Chee Chee Leung on 0400 732 795 or firstname.lastname@example.org