Lucky Country’s foreign aid is less than generous

Paula Paterson | Sydney Morning Herald | 07 May 2015

As I watch in horror at the devastation in Nepal I am reminded, once again, how lucky I am to live in Australia (“State and aid agencies trade blame“, May 7). Australia is a rich country. We have the sixth lowest debt out of 29 OECD countries. However, we are not a generous country. We are 15th in the OECD countries for aid giving.

During the past few years Australian aid has assisted millions of children in getting to school and provided vaccinations for millions more.  It is expected that the Treasurer, Joe Hockey, will cut another $1 billion from aid spending as part of the Federal budget on May 11. This will result in cuts totalling $11.3 billion since September 2013. This is a devastating blow to agencies and projects that are funded by Australia’s aid program.

Agencies such as World Vision and Plan Australia have already had to cut vital programs. Australia now gives 22 cents in every $100 of income to aid. This is our lowest in history.

Hockey has to stop balancing our budget on the backs of the poor and reverse cuts to Australian aid.