Australian Greens Leader Dr Richard Di Natale joined Greens spokesperson for international aid and development Senator Lee Rhiannon today to announce the Greens plans to fund international development.
“Australia’s foreign aid budget should be 0.7% of Gross National Income, and today the Greens are proud to announce an election commitment to achieve that by 2025,” said Senator Di Natale.
“This target was one of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, due to be reached this year, but we have failed to live up to that promise. The new Sustainable Development Goals don’t come with deadlines, so it is up to Australia to show leadership and set our delivery date, then work hard to meet it.
“A confident and responsible country is one that recognises it is strength, not weakness, that allows us to help those most in need. Australia must engage with the world, not turn our backs on it.
“If our Gross National Income was a hundred dollars, our government is giving the world’s poorest just 25 cents. Next year, the Turnbull government is set to take us to a new low of just 22 cents.
“Whether the new Prime Minister changes course will be a test of how his values and priorities compare to his predecessor.”
Senator Lee Rhiannon said: “Any increase in aid funding, must go hand in hand with ensuring that Australia’s aid money does not fill the coffers of the private sector as it currently does.
“Programs like Innovation Xchange, created by the Liberal/National government, which uses aid money to open up business opportunities in low income countries, need to be scrapped.
“Gender equality outcomes have also been trashed by this government with Plan international identifying that 220,000 fewer girls could be enrolling in school in the next financial year as a result of Liberal/National government’s aid cuts.
“The government needs to come clean on the effects their $11 billion aid cuts and private sector collaboration has had on poverty alleviation and commit to the target of 0.7% by 2025.
“We are already 10 years behind what other countries have achieved. This target to increase Australia’s overseas aid by 2025 should not be pushed out any further,” Senator Rhiannon said.
Di Natale – Andrew Blyberg 0457 901 600
Rhiannon – Brami Jegan 0433 054 712