Oxfam has called on the Australian Government to rule out further raids on the aid budget that would diminish the fight against poverty and inequality, following speculation today that the aid budget might again be in the firing line for cuts.
Oxfam’s Director of Public Engagement Pam Anders said $7.6billion in foreign aid cuts announced by the Federal Government in May had already seen the world’s poorest shouldering the largest cuts in the budget.
“Globally, we are seeing rising inequality that is making the fight against poverty harder, and this is compounded by an increase in disasters; however, we’re also seeing short-sighted reductions in spending to address these issues,” Ms Anders said.
“Any move to tighten the belt on the already stretched Australian aid program would be to the detriment of Australia’s national interests, and must be ruled out by the Australian Government.”
She said the Australian aid program was also part of Australia’s contribution to making the world a safer, more peaceful place.
Earlier this year, the Commission of Audit recommended aid increase by CPI each year, observing that “Australia’s overseas aid program serves Australia’s national interests, including by contributing to global efforts to reduce poverty and promoting stability and prosperity in our region.”
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