Responding to today’s announcement by Deputy Leader of the Opposition Tanya Plibersek that Labor will reverse $224 million of cuts to the aid budget, Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Dr Helen Szoke said:
“Oxfam is an organisation that advocates on behalf of some of the poorest people in the world. People in a daily struggle for food, water, shelter, work, education.
“I know the power that aid has to save lives –I have seen the terrible, deadly consequences of when there isn’t enough to go around.
“Recent years have seen cut after devastating cut, resulting in the scaling back of life-changing work, including in our own region, where the majority of the world’s poorest live.
“There is no poor country or region that has been left unscathed by cuts to the Australian aid budget. The aid budget is not an ATM – it is a lifeline for our very poorest neighbours.
“This announcement is a first – and a welcome – step by a major party towards restoring Australian aid.
“The commitment to reverse $224 million worth of cuts, which includes Labor’s previous commitment of a $40 million increase, are certainly welcome.
“We also welcome the announcement of $40 million each year to help the world’s poorest.
“This is as a start to the rebuilding of our aid program so it can continue to help families earn enough to survive and be supported to rebuild their lives after disaster strikes.”
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