SYDNEY, 21 May 2016
– UNICEF Australia welcomes the promise from the Australian Labor Party to restore the latest $224 million cut from the international aid budget should it form government. The announcement comes as world leaders gather for the first World Humanitarian Summit next week in Istanbul, Turkey, where there will be a strong focus on higher levels of investment needed to build resilience and save lives.
Australia’s Overseas Development Assistance is at an all-time low at just 23 cents in every $100.
“International aid cuts negatively impact the world’s most vulnerable children and families, particularly at this time of unprecedented humanitarian crises, with more children displaced than any other time since World War Two,” said Adrian Graham, Chief Executive Officer, UNICEF Australia.
“Labor’s announcement is a positive first step towards restoring Australia’s commitment to help the world’s poorest and most disadvantaged to ensure that no child is left behind.”
At the World Humanitarian Summit, global leaders will discuss how to effectively respond to major humanitarian emergencies, and how to be better prepared to meet challenges of the future. Key topics will include higher levels of investment in disaster risk reduction and fragile states to save lives, and prevent mass scale displacement. In addition, flexible and predictable funding is a key discussion point, to enable humanitarians to take rapid action for children in crisis, based on most critical needs.
“The bottom line is children are in crisis across the world and aid cuts cost lives. We welcome commitments from all leaders to repair our international aid as a priority,” added Mr Graham. “As a wealthy nation with a traditionally sound track record in international aid, Australia has an opportunity to play a leading role and should take it.”
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