ALP commitment to aid welcome but bi-partisan funding guarantee still needed by world’s poorest

Plan International Australia today welcomed the ALP’s commitment to return $224m cut from the Australian aid budget and called on all parties to match the guarantee.

“We are pleased that the ALP has recognised the valuable role aid plays in making the world a fairer place,” said Plan International CEO Ian Wishart.

“After such significant setbacks to funding it is good to see that the tide is turning for the world’s poor.”

“We call on the Coalition to match the guarantee to restore the most recent cuts and for both parties to offer a plan to rebuild the aid program over the longer-term,” added Mr Wishart.

“It is vitally important that every party commits to reverse cuts to our aid program and that our political leaders reprioritise Australian aid.”

“Plan International has seen the impact of these cuts first hand. We have been forced to end several highly successful programs, including programs tackling gender based violence in East Africa, as a result of savage cuts to the aid budget over a number of years.”

“The restoration of critical funding will allow organisations like Plan International to guarantee our work with communities in the world’s poorest countries will continue, so that all children can access quality education, healthcare, food and water. It would also allow us to scale-up our work with communities in the Pacific and invest in more innovative approaches to aid delivery.”

“Plan International calls on both political parties to make a bi-partisan commitment to guarantee the restoration of Australian aid funding before the 2 July election” said Mr Wishart.

Facts on foreign aid cuts
  • In 2014, the Federal Government announced $11 billion in cuts to its foreign aid program.
  • The aid budget was cut by 20 per cent in the 2015 financial year.
  • The 3 May budget cut a further $224 million from aid, making Australia the least generous in our nation’s history.
  • The latest cuts have reduced Australian aid to $3.8 billion in the 2016/17 financial year, representing just 0.9 percent of the Federal Budget and .23 percent of gross national income (GNI).
Editors’ notes:
  • Plan is one of the oldest and largest children's development organisations in the world, founded 79 years ago, working in 50 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas and supported by 21 donor countries. Plan is independent, with no religious, political or governmental affiliations.
Media contact: Holly Crocket, 0413 343 329, holly.crocket@plan.org.au