Diminishing aid

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The Australian government’s belief in the “importance of aid” (Letters, 23/6) is now non-existent.

Australian aid was highest at 0.48 per cent of gross national income in 1967-68. It is now 0.22 per cent, the lowest level ever.

So what’s happened to Australia’s endorsement of the 2015 UN Sustainable Development Goals? The goals aim to eradicate poverty by 2030, requiring wealthy countries to raise aid levels to 0.7 per cent of GNI. This was met or exceeded in 2015 by the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway and Sweden.

In contrast to declining government aid funds, public donations to aid NGOs increased by 10 per cent between 2014 and 2015. About 1.6 million Australians donated $921million, with around 80,000 Australians giving their time to international causes.

Australians want to take part in consigning poverty to the history books. To reflect this and to save lives, the government must make aid important again.

Sue Packham, Woolamai