Labor’s first-time pledge to rebuild aid budget welcomed

13 Feb, 2018

ACFID has today welcomed Labor’s announcement that a Shorten Government would increase the level of Australian aid.

Speaking in Canberra at the Australasian Aid conference, Labor Shadow Foreign Minister, Senator Penny Wong, said her party would rebuild and increase official development assistance beyond Australia’s current investment.

Australian Council for International Development CEO, Marc Purcell, said:

“This is a significant and welcome commitment from the Labor party. A strong and effective aid program should be core to Australia’s foreign policy - it helps lift millions out of poverty, builds peace and stability and helps tackle the world’s common challenges, like climate change. Facing an unstable future, effective aid – primarily working for the poorest – builds stronger, closer and longer-term connections, benefiting diplomatic relations.

“Australia’s aid budget has been cut dramatically and is now at its lowest level in our history. The cuts were at odds with the generosity of the Australian people and our values of a fair-go, and need to be reversed.

“We welcome the call the Shadow Foreign Minister has made to reach across party lines to create a long-term, bipartisan commitment to rebuilding Australia’s aid budget and will support efforts to create consensus.

“We have called on the Government to start rebuilding the aid budget at this year’s Federal Budget and are looking to all parties to lay out a timetable for increasing the aid budget to 0.7% of GNI, in line with Australia’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals.”

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For further information, contact Tim Watkin at [email protected] or on 0401 721 064.