World Vision welcomes ALP pledge to reverse aid cut

World Vision welcomes the Australian Labor Party’s pledge, if elected, to reverse the latest $224 million cut in Australia’s aid announced in this year’s federal budget.

Chief Executive, Tim Costello said committing to restoring the $224 million in aid funding was an important first step in stopping the clock on aid cuts.

“Churches, business leaders and many compassionate ordinary Australians have been pleading with both the major parties to stop the clock on the cuts before Australian aid reached its lowest levels ever,” Mr Costello said.

Three years of successive cuts under the LNP Coalition which slashed $11 billion from Australia’s aid budget has pushed it to its lowest level in the nation’s history.

Mr Costello who joined the Deputy Opposition Leader, Tanya Plibersek for the announcement in Sydney today, immediately called on the Coalition to match the ALP’s pledge.

“I invite Malcom Turnbull and Scott Morrison to use this election campaign to recommit to a bipartisan aid policy that will restore a fair and effective budget for Australian aid,” Mr Costello said.

Aid cuts are not only unfair, they are stupid, Mr Costello said

“The continuous aid cuts of the past three years have put real lives and children’s futures at risk, as well as undermining Australia’s role in the world, our regional and global security and prosperity.” 

Aid cuts were not good for Australian business, he said

 “Investment in aid enhances the potential for business and trade opportunities for Australian business, particularly in our region. So when you slash aid, you are also slashing these opportunities.”

World Vision had been forced to cut funding to programs providing basic education, health and access to clean water for some of the world’s most vulnerable people as a result of the cuts.

 “We simply don’t have enough funds to implement projects where they are most needed, to help lift the world’s poorest children out of poverty,” he said.

“$224 million would allow us to provide basic education for almost half of the 750,000 Syrian refugee children needing school this year who currently aren’t in education.” he said.

There was an urgent need to return Australia’s aid budget to its pre-Abbott levels of $5.5 billion over the life of the next parliament Mr Costello said.

For interviews, please contact: Tim Costello: 0411 633 446 or Mary-Louise O’Callaghan 0427 413 816, Mary-Louise.O’

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