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Australians must stand together for aid

Flickr: Michael McDonough

It’s that time of year again-when the fun and excitement of the Christmas and New Year is over and everyone is planning and implementing their goals for 2016.

Part of my plan for 2016 is to use my voice to support the UN’s Global Goals and do my part to ensure this world ends extreme poverty by 2030.

Globally, poverty has been cut by 50% in the last 25 years and Australian aid has played a part in achieving this amazing result. I love this country and I’m proud of what Australian aid has achieved in the past to get people out of poverty. Things such as providing basic education for 500, 000 people in 2011/12, assisting at least 10 million people affected by disasters and helping 400, 000 people gain access to clean water.

This aid is a miniscule part of the Australian budget but has the potential to make an immense, impact through funding programs that restore eyesight, prolong lives and let children see their fifth birthday.

I wonder what Australian Prime Minister Turnbull’s 2016 new year’s resolution for the future of Australian aid is?

The cuts to Australian aid in recent years are disappointing. It seems that Australia is no longer pulling its weight in responding to global challenges. These cuts will make Australia the least generous it has ever been.

The impact of these cuts can be seen in this interactive diagram.

We Australians have never been further from keeping our promise of 0.7% funding. 0.7% refers to the commitment agreed to internationally by the richest countries in the world (which includes Australia), to contribute 0.7% of their Gross National Income (GNI) to Overseas Development Aid. The closest Australia has come to reaching the 0.7% target in recent years was in 2012-13 when aid was 0.35% of GNI. With the most recent cuts, Australia will plummet to 0.22% by 2016-17.

Is this who we are as a nation? Australians should not be turning our backs on the world’s poor.

I want to live in a country that supports our mates, gives everyone a fair go at life and helps those less fortunate than themselves.

I want this notion to extend to our Indo-pacific neighbours, and I want this country’s government to reflect the values of its people.

Now, more than ever, Australia has the opportunity to demonstrate to the world what supporting your mates really means.

australians-must-stand-together-for-aid-Body.jpgImage: Flickr: Max Anderson

And how could we forget this bold statement from Prime Minister Turnbull: “There has never been a more exciting time to be alive than today and there has never been a more exciting time to be an Australian.

Let’s NOT let the Australian Government cut Australian aid, instead let’s make them restore, and increase, it instead.

I along with many other Australians support Australian Aid.

Do you?

Sign up to the Campaign for Australian Aid today and join the movement!