ANDREW Wilkie MP joined anti-poverty campaigners at Parliament House this week to support the end to one of the world’s deadliest and oldest diseases – tuberculosis.
Volunteers and staff from RESULTS International (Australia)met with the Independent Member for Denison to discuss several issues including ending the scourge of tuberculosis and improving education in the Asia-Pacific.
RESULTS works closely with federal parliamentarians and their constituents to generate the public and political will to end extreme poverty.
Anti-poverty advocates Maree Nutt, Camilla Ryberg, Sarah Kirk, and Gina Olivieri went into bat for The Global Fund to Fights AIDS, TB & Malaria, asking Mr Wilkie to call on the Abbott Government to make a donation of just $200 million to the lifesaving financial institution.
Over a million people die from tuberculosis each year worldwide, more than half of these deaths occur right on Australia’s doorstep.
Mr Wilkie has been a long-time supporter of the grassroots organisation since 2010 and makes his office and resources available whenever they visit Canberra to champion their causes.
The campaigners also asked Mr Wilkie to write to Treasurer Joe Hockey and Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop to get the Government to commit to effective and cost-efficient nutrition and education programs that will build economic resilience in the Asia-Pacific.
Globally, there are still 57 million children not in primary school, with the Asia-Pacific accounting for over half of all the world’s illiterate adults.
Mr Wilkie MP said: “I welcome RESULTS and their campaigning for more Government action to improve our region’s health and prosperity. If the Foreign Affairs Minister wants better value for our aid dollars, she needs to commit to developing a nutrition and education strategy for our foreign aid program and to support the Global Fund even more.
“A more prosperous region means a more prosperous Australia,” Mr Wilkie added.
Maree Nutt, CEO of RESULTS, said: “We are very grateful for Mr Wilkie’s support in the fight against TB and education. With recent cuts to the foreign aid budget we need every MP and Senator in our corner to win this battle.
“Investing in credible organisations like the Global Fund and developing smart, cost-effective strategies to improve education standards, will not only save hundreds of thousands of lives, but it will save us millions of dollars,” Ms Nutt added.
RESULTS staff and volunteers will meet with 18 MPs and Senators in just two days.To find out more about World TB Day on March 24 and how you can join the fight please visit www.results.org.au.
Photo: From Left to Right: Maree Nutt, Sarah Kirk, Andrew Wilkie MP, Gina Olivieri, Camilla Ryberg.