Budget misses opportunity to address regional need: Caritas

(CARE Australia)

Caritas Australia has expressed concern the federal Budget has delivered limited new aid commitments at a time when the need in the region is at its greatest.

“Over the past year we have welcomed vital injections of cash and support to fight COVID-19, particularly in the Pacific and Asia where cases and deaths are rising alarmingly,” said Kirsty Robertson, chief executive of Caritas Australia.

“This rapid response was crucial, and in many cases lifesaving, but we can’t afford to decrease the overall assistance now. At a time of increasing hunger, unemployment and poverty globally, we need to step up and prevent further loss of life, and not just from COVID-19. If not now, when?”

“We recognise the valuable support provided by the Australian Government to the region since the beginning of the pandemic, which has helped countries like India, Fiji and Papua New Guinea fight the health, economic and social impacts of COVID-19 over the past year.”

“Without the significant contribution of PPE and medical supplies to India during the biggest global spike in COVID-19 so far, it’s likely that many more lives would have been lost. We welcome its continuation with the two-year package outlined in the budget for India.”

“And I am certain that the 10,000 doses of vaccines a week that the government has committed to send to the Pacific and Timor-Leste will make a serious difference to these countries, which have overwhelmed and fragile healthcare systems.”

Ms Robertson said Caritas Australia was disappointed that the Government has not increased funding to Africa and the Middle East where communities are facing similar challenges.

FULL STORY

Budget is a missed opportunity to address regional need (Caritas Australia)

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