Caritas Australia (CA) has expressed deep disappointment in this year’s federal budget, specifically the decision to cut even deeper into an already diminished Australian official aid program.
The cut of an additional $224m is the third successive cut by this government and has reduced Australia to its least generous role among OECD countries in 40 years.
Caritas Australia CEO, Paul O’Callaghan said that Australia has had a prominent and bipartisan record of strong support for economic improvement and poverty alleviation, both in our immediate region and beyond.
“Together with Australia’s outstanding contribution through peace-keeping missions, this aid and development role over many decades led to Australia being regarded as a significant leader and middle power,” Mr O’Callaghan said.
“While Australia remains one of the wealthiest nations in the OECD group, this latest funding cut will confirm our major turn to insularity and not providing a reasonable share in the global response.”
“Australia’s partners in the region and beyond comment with regret that Australia has given up its shared leadership role in combatting poverty.”
Mr O’Callaghan said that “the 30% cut in Australia’s official aid program since 2013 not only impacts on the livelihoods and wellbeing of millions of people, but also sends a clear signal to the world of a major change in Australian international priorities for the long term.”
Caritas Australia is the international aid and development agency of the Catholic Church and part of one of the largest humanitarian networks in the world.
Watch students talk about the importance of Australian aid https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6FlLCeVvv8
Watch Archbishop Mark Coleridge’s video message against the aid cuts – http://youtu.be/vlzY_IMnG0k
For more information contact: Caritas Media Advisor, Nicole Clements on 0408 869 833 or at firstname.lastname@example.org