Plan International Australia welcomes Greens commitment to restoring foreign aid

Plan International Australia today welcomes the Greens Party’s policy on foreign aid, but emphasises the pressing need for a bi-partisan funding guarantee to restore $224 million lost in the most recent budget.

“We are pleased the Greens recognise the hugely challenging losses to Australian aid in recent years and the toll this has had on the sector and the world’s poorest communities,” Plan International CEO Ian Wishart said.

“It’s great to see the Greens’ policy aligns with the UN Sustainable Development goals and reflects Plan International’s commitment to girls and women worldwide. But sadly this is not necessarily reflected by the Coalition. 

“Last month, Labor announced that if elected, they would restore the $224 million slashed from Australia’s foreign aid budget. Unfortunately, despite repeated calls from the humanitarian aid sector, we are yet to see any indication the Coalition will match this pledge.

“Plan International has already called on both political parties to make a bi-partisan commitment to guarantee the restoration of Australian aid funding before the 2 July election. We hope that we see an announcement from the Liberal party in the coming weeks.

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

“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.”

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. 
  • On 21 May, the ALP pledged to restore the $224 if elected. Plan International then called on the Liberal party to match that commitment. 
  • 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.

Media contact: Jane Gardner 0438 130 905/ jane.gardner@plan.org.au