Aid cutbacks unwise

Yes Matt Wade (Letters, April 4), Australia’s attitude to aid has changed, even though we know aid saves lives.

Since 2000, along with other wealthy nations, Australian aid has achieved some of the UN Millennium Development Goals: poverty and women dying during childbirth was halved; access to clean water doubled; instead of 30,000 children dying each day from preventable illnesses that number is now 16,000.

And even though Australia endorsed the 2015 UN Sustainable Development Goal to eradicate global poverty by 2030, we have seen a 30 per cent reduction in aid funds over the past five years – counterproductive and mean.

With further cuts muted, Reverend Tim Costello’s Easter reflection is timely: “Our sense of our responsibility is even to distant strangers, not just our own.” Australia’s aid budget decisions must support the agreed global effort to consign poverty to the history books — an attitudinal change that would help make the world a safer place.

Sue Packham, Woolamai, Vic