STATEMENT: Plan International Australia’s response to the budget
Plan International Australia CEO Ian Wishart is available for interview. Please contact Clare Price on 0490 252 743 to arrange.
The 3 May budget, which cut a further $224 million from aid, has made Australia the least generous in our nation’s history. These 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).
Over the past two years, the aid budget has been slashed by over one third, with a total of $11 billion cut. A colossal $1 billion was stripped from aid in last year's budget, the single biggest annual cut on record.
If giving aid was a Commonwealth Games sport, Australian wouldn’t even make the podium. The United Kingdom gives .72 percent of GNI to aid, Canada gives .27 and New Zealand gives .27.
“Through Australian aid, we have contributed to building a fairer world. Australians have helped local communities in poorer nations build schools, access clean water and learn climate change coping mechanisms,” said Mr Wishart.
“It is important that Australia continues to contribute to building a fairer and more equal world, particularly in the Asia Pacific region where we enjoy a quality of life much higher than many of our neighbours.”
“Cutting aid halts and even reverses development gains, makes our region less safe by not assisting local governments to improve education and quality of life outcomes in-country and perpetuates a reputation among our neighbours that we are not generous.”
“It is vitally important that cuts to our aid program are reinstated and that our political leaders reprioritise Australian aid,” added Mr Wishart.
Plan International Australia 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.