Leading girls’ rights agency Plan International Australia has welcomed the strong vision set out in the first report of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade’s Inquiry into Australia’s aid program.
Plan International CEO Susanne Legena said that after six years of successive cuts, it was heartening to see bipartisan support for rebuilding our depleted aid budget to 0.7% GNI over the coming decade.
Ms Legena commended the committee, in particular its Chair, Liberal MP Chris Crewther and Deputy Chair, Labor Senator Alex Gallacher, for its work.
“To recommend this target be legislated is a brave show of unity and leadership by this committee. What’s more, the committee’s ability to secure bipartisan agreement on all recommendations shows the best side of our parliament – this cooperation is all too often invisible to the Australian public.
“In accordance with goals to achieve gender equality, we are also encouraged by the inclusion of Plan International’s recommendation to strengthen aid outcomes for adolescent girls, including by developing a standalone action plan and funding target. This is a vital step in ensuring the half a billion adolescent girls worldwide are able to be safe, equal and fulfil their potential. We were also pleased to see broader measures recommended around girls’ and women’s empowerment – an issue at the centre of our work.
“Every day we seek to show the Australian public the tremendous value we get from our aid program and the life-changing impacts it has on people across the globe. We would support any government measures to raise this profile more broadly to help Australians understand the difference we are all making together.
“We are hopeful that all parties will take heed of these important recommendations, championing them within party policies and in parliament over the coming months and years, no matter who is victorious at the upcoming election.”
About Plan International
Plan International is a leading girls’ rights agency. 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.