make poverty history

Keeping our promises to the poor

The Make Poverty History coalition welcomes the Australian Greens’ effort to ensure Australia contributes a fair share of its national income to assisting people living in extreme poverty.
The anti-poverty movement welcomes initiatives that seek to strengthen Australia’s commitment to a growing aid program and protect the aid budget from being diverted to domestic priorities such as asylum seeker costs.
“Australia’s aid investment is about saving lives and improving the opportunity for those living in extreme poverty,” said Tim Costello, co-chair of Make Poverty History. “The aid budget should be above politics and we expect a renewed spirit of cross-party support for a growing and effective aid program.”
Make Poverty History also welcomes a focus on improving the effectiveness of Australia’s overseas aid. Australians expect an effective aid program that ensures every dollar is spent wisely. Effective aid involves a long-term commitment to helping people provide better opportunities for their children, and this also requires long-term funding commitments.
“Australian aid plays an important part in providing the world’s most vulnerable people with sustainable access to education, clean water and health services including a significant contribution to the global reduction in maternal and child deaths over the past decade,” said Ian Wishart, co-chair of Make Poverty History. “All political parties must step up to ensure this life-changing aid is continued.”
“Aid is an investment in the future of Australia, our region, and the world.” said Dr Helen Szoke, co-chair of Make Poverty History. “Our focus now is on ensuring the Australian Government makes good its commitment to increase overseas aid levels to 0.5 per cent of national income by 2016.”
Make Poverty History also applauds the open letter from Australian business leaders who yesterday called for Australia to invest a fair amount in improving the lives of the world’s poorest people, emphasizing that investing in international development isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do.
Co-chair of Make Poverty History, Viv Benjamin said: “It’s great to see business leaders join the over 54,000 Australians who have signed the Movement to End Poverty petition in support of increasing the Australian aid budget.”

Media Contact:
For Tim Costello at World Vision Australia, please contact Chloe Adams on 0427 413 816
For Ian Wishart at Plan Australia, please contact Mary-Anne Thomas on 0407 789 415
For Helen Szoke at Oxfam Australia, please contact Chee Chee Leung on 0412 560 584
For Viv Benjamin at The Oaktree Foundation, please contact Neela Haryani on 0401591631

The Movement to End Poverty is a joint action of the Make Poverty History and Micah Challenge Coalitions,
for all Australians who believe we can end extreme poverty. For more information, go to
www.movementtoendpoverty.org.au.

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