Caritas Australia has urged the Federal Government to keep its commitment to the world’s most marginalised people after announcing a substantial drop in the forecast foreign aid budget tonight, the organisation said in a media statement.
While announcing a welcome increase of $315 million to the 2012-13 budget, Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr confirmed Australia would no longer meet its promise that 0.5 per cent of Gross National Income would be spent on foreign aid.
“This budget of $5.2 billion will go a long way and a lot of people will receive assistance and their lives will be changed,” Caritas Australia CEO, Jack de Groot, said.
“But while these are not the easiest of economic times, Australia does have the capacity to help hundreds of thousands more people if we want to.”
Mr de Groot said Australia’s historical efforts to end global poverty were proof that our generosity could change the lives of the poorest of the poor forever.
“We are making genuine inroads on the injustice of world poverty. Families now have food, communities have incomes, mothers have access to maternal health services and children now have an education and hope,” Mr de Groot said.
Australia must lead push to end poverty, not follow