World Vision welcomes Labor’s first step towards restoring aid budget
World Vision today welcomed the ALP’s pledge to return $40 million to the Australian aid budget as a good first step towards restoring our nation’s commitment to the world’s poor.
World Vision Chief Executive Tim Costello said Labor’s announcement paved the way for a return to a bipartisan commitment to a more generous and effective Australian aid program.
“Our nation’s commitment to helping our neighbours build their self-reliance should be above politics,” Mr Costello said. “Labor has taken the first step; it’s our hope that the Prime Minister will now reach out to the Opposition to forge a bipartisan commitment to reinvesting in, and increasing the impact of Australian aid.”
Mr Costello was speaking after the Deputy Opposition Leader and Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Tanya Pilbersek announced that a Labor Government would restore $40 million to the Australian aid budget.
A total of $30 million of this would go to the Government’s partnership with NGOs which matches ordinary Australians’ donations to selected Australian NGOs. The remaining $10 million is for evaluation and research associated with monitoring the Australian aid program’s effectiveness in achieving the UN Global Goals for sustainable development.
Mr Costello said while he welcomed Labor’s commitment to increase funding to NGOs, a much broader restoration of the Australian aid program was needed across the board.
“We don’t advocate for increases in aid to improve our own balance sheets, we advocate for increases to aid because of the difference it makes in the lives of the poor. We want to see increases in every part of the program, not just to NGOs,” he said.
Mr Costello welcomed Labor’s commitment to enshrine the aid program and its evaluation in legislation. All political parties should commit to restore the aid budget to $5.5 billion in the life of the next parliament and pass comprehensive legislation to ensure the effectiveness of the aid program.
“Recent cuts to Australian aid have been savage and unconscionable, the best way to guard against this is for all parties to support legislation that can protect the aid budget from being used as an ATM at budget time,” he said.
“We are looking forward to working with both sides of politics to rebuild the aid program to $5.5 billion in the life of the next parliament and for comprehensive legislation to secure and protect the aid budget and the effectiveness of the aid program.”
For interviews with World Vision Australia CEO, Tim Costello please contact Mary-Louise O’Callaghan on 0427 413 816 or email@example.com
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