make poverty history

Breaking 135 days silence: Government announces aid cuts


Today’s revelation of where cuts to Australia’s aid program will fall has been met with disappointment by the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), the peak body for Australian aid and humanitarian
ACFID Vice President and CARE Australia CEO, Dr Julia Newton-Howes, commented “Today’s announcement of $625 million in cuts is not merely number crunching in an attempt to find a budget surplus. It is the world’s poorest people – in many of Australia’s neighbouring countries – who will feel the brunt of these decisions.”

“Prior to the election, this government committed to reprioritising aid funding to Australia NGOs, in recognition of their experience and track record of effectively working to assist many of the world’s poorest communities tackle extreme poverty head on. Yet, in today’s announcement, many of these agencies have been subject to cuts.”

“Each year, around two million Australians willingly donate to Australian aid agencies because they believe in the important work we do. Today’s funding cut will mean that opportunities to connect marginalised and vulnerable people with critical services and opportunities to break the cycle of poverty, have also been decreased,” Dr Newton-Howes said.

“It is important to remember that aid is an investment in Australia’s future.  The health of our region’s economic health and aid investments stand us in good stead for seeing growing and shared prosperity,” says Dr Newton-Howes.

“Despite the bad news, the Australian aid sector welcomes the Government’s commitment to ensuring our aid is working for poverty reduction and sustainable development,” said Dr Newton-Howes.

“We further welcome the Government’s recognition of the importance of aid predictability and their commitment to increase aid annually by CPI over forward estimates. We will be looking to the May budget to see this commitment honoured and the funding taken from Australian NGOs in today’s announcement restored in line with the pre-election promise.”

“We are pleased with commitments to consult with the Australia aid sector as it develops its benchmarks for an Australian aid program and ACFID, with 50 years of experience and a rigorous Code of Conduct for its member
organisations is well placed to work with the Government on those aims.”

“ACFID remains deeply committed to ensuring Australia’s aid benefits the world’s poorest people, and we are ready to work in partnership with the government to ensure it meets those goals and delivers a world-class, effective aid program,” concluded Dr Newton Howes.


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