Leading girls’ rights agency Plan International Australia has welcomed the commitments to Australian aid made by Shadow Foreign Minister Penny Wong last night, including an announcement of $32 million funding over four years for the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).
Plan International Australia is one of 57 accredited NGOs that are members of the Australian Government’s ANCP, a funding mechanism that has delivered significant impact on a limited budget for more than 40 years.
Plan International Australia Director of Advocacy Hayley Cull welcomed Labor’s commitments, coming after six years of devastating cuts to Australia’s aid and at a time of increasing need for children worldwide.
“As a girl’s rights agency, we are very pleased to see Labor reaffirming gender equality and inclusion as priorities for Australia’s international development program. It is essential that our aid policies and programs recognise the specific needs of adolescent girls so that they are able to reach their full potential,” said Ms Cull.
“We also welcome Labor’s commitment to restore funding to the ANCP, and hope that this is the start of the long-awaited rebuilding of our aid program. We call on the Coalition to restore bipartisanship to our aid program, and for both the major parties to put us on track to meet our international obligations.
“Australia’s support for international aid is needed now more than ever. With our budget back in surplus, now is the time for us to contribute our fair share, and this is a good first step by Labor.”
About Plan International
Plan International is a global independent development and humanitarian organisation. We champion girls’ rights because we know that there is nowhere in the world where girls are treated as equals. We work alongside children, young people, supporters and partners to tackle the root causes of injustices facing girls and the most marginalised children.
Plan International works in more than 75 countries to help create a just world that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. Our local office, Plan International Australia funds programs to support children in more than 25 countries, as well as sponsorship programs across the federation.