Despite their own financial pressures, many Australians take pride in Australia’s long history of being a generous country. Many dig into their own pockets each month to make regular donations to support people in greatest need.
As polling data reveals, many Australians also expect the Government to invest steadily in addressing the negative impacts of extreme poverty in our region in a way that contributes to increasing overall stability.
Australian generosity has helped children and families rebuild their lives after multiple earthquakes struck Nepal, after Cyclone Pam ripped through Vanuatu, after floods devastated Pakistan. It’s helped prevent the spread of Ebola in West Africa and it has helped keep children safe in Fiji and get them back to school following Cyclone Winston.
That’s all set to change on Tuesday.
The Treasurer is expected to set a new record by slashing a projected $224 million from a budget that already took a billion dollar beating last year. The projected cut will shrink Australia’s contribution to foreign aid to an all-time low. This means that Australian aid as a share of Gross National Income (GNI) will fall to just 0.23 per cent by 2016-17 – that’s 23 cents in every $100 - its lowest ever level.
These numbers have a direct impact on children - children who are already vulnerable.