International development agency Oxfam Australia says the new Australian Government must ensure the fundamental purpose of Australia’s overseas aid program is to reduce poverty.
Following today’s announcement that AusAID will be integrated into the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Oxfam is urging the Government to clarify the implications for Australia’s aid program.
Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Dr Helen Szoke said with one in eight people around the world still going hungry every day, fighting poverty must remain the driving force behind the delivery of Australian aid.
“Australia has an important role to play in the international community – especially through our contribution to fighting global poverty and hunger,” she said.
Dr Szoke said Australian aid was helping to improve the lives of millions of the world’s poorest people, many who lived in our region.
Last year, Australia’s overseas aid program vaccinated more than 2.7 million children, provided safe water for an extra 2.2 million people, and ensured one million children enrolled in school.
“The most important thing is that the focus of Australia’s aid program remains on reducing poverty – no matter where this work is located within the government machinery,” Dr Szoke said.
“We urge the Australian Government to confirm its intention to oversee a strong and effective aid program, with fighting poverty as its main goal.”
For interviews or more information contact Oxfam Australia Media Coordinator Chee Chee Leung on 0412 560 584 or firstname.lastname@example.org