International aid agency Oxfam Australia says the Federal Government’s decision to yet again strip money from the overseas aid budget will have a devastating impact on the world’s poorest people.
Oxfam’s acting public policy and advocacy manager, Kelly Dent, said the Government was making an unfortunate habit of raiding the overseas aid budget to make up for its own budget shortfalls.
“It is disappointing to see the Government take another axe to the overseas aid budget,” Ms Dent said.
“We welcome the continued commitment that Australia’s overseas aid program will reach 0.5 per cent of national income by 2017-18.
“However, the Government’s decision to slow the growth of the aid budget – effectively cutting $879 million from the aid program over the coming four years – is a cruel blow for the world’s poor.”
Ms Dent said the Government’s back-ending of the promised growth in Australia’s aid program meant there would be a lot of catching up needed in coming years to reach the 0.5 per cent target.
“Every time we cut our promised aid spending, it means more people will have to wait even longer to access essentials such as clean water, better healthcare and education,” she said.
“The purpose of Australia’s overseas aid budget is to fight poverty. It is not an ATM for the Government to meet its domestic financial commitments.”
For interviews or more information contact Oxfam Australia Media Coordinator Chee Chee Leung on 0412 560 584 or firstname.lastname@example.org