CARE Slams Australian Government Decision To Cut Back On International Aid

CARE Australia, the International aid agency has criticised, the Australian Government’s decision to cut back on foreign aid, which was announced by Treasurer Joe Hockey during the mid year Economic and Fiscal Outlook. CARE says it has serious doubts over whether the Government is sincere about its stated objected of Australian aid being better planned and more effective.

A total of $11.3 billion in cuts

Mr. Hockey announced an additional $3.7 billion cut to the country’s international aid program. During the budget last May Mr. Hockey initially cut $7.6 billion making a total of $11.3 billion in cuts to foreign aid. Dr. Julia Newton-Howes, CEO for CARE Australia said despite the fact that on many occasions the Government has said that Australian aid needed to be both consistent and predictable; the Government continues to use the country’s aid program as a piggy bank which it can raid whenever it pleases.

Aid programs will be severely reduced or halted

Dr. Newton-Howes says the huge cuts will result in several programs either being severely reduced or completely halted midway through their delivery. This means the hard won gains made by Australia in the region will be at risk which is a very ineffective way of delivering aid. She adds the announcement is very short sighted and further pushes Australia out of step with other developed countries, all of whom have increased their international aid budgets.

“Australia’s growth and prosperity is inherently tied to the health and prosperity of our closest neighbours, of which 18 of 20 are developing countries. The cuts demonstrate, despite Australia’s recent efforts at the G20, that the Government is looking to further isolate itself from like?minded nations, most of whom are increasing their aid budget, despite being in far tougher economic positions,” she said.

Aid the most cost effective way to provide security

Dr. Newton- Howes went on to say she was particularly disappointed with the Treasurer’s claim that international aid was being cut in order to provide additional support for national security initiatives. She adds that providing international aid is one of the most cost effective ways of ensuring the region remains stable and secure because it promotes economic growth, prosperity and above all saves lives.

“The Ebola crisis has demonstrated how poverty can quickly become a national security threat. The best way to secure Australia’s future is to be a good global citizen that invests in internationally?agreed levels of funding to help solve global problems such as poverty and climate change,” Dr Newton?Howes said.

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