Global Citizen is a community of people like you

People who want to learn about and take action on the world’s biggest challenges. Extreme poverty ends with you.


History is being made and it’s not pretty…

Senior members of the government following their swearing-in ceremony: Warren Truss, Tony Abbott, Julie Bishop, and Eric Abetz.
Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

The Australia federal budget was released on Tuesday night local time, and it didn't make for happy reading.

It includes further cuts to Australian foreign aid.

There was a time when Australia was one of the most generous countries in the world. Amongst industrialised countries, Australia was the 13th highest provider of aid. It contributed to all sorts of projects both in South East Asia and globally.

But today, the Abbott Government implemented a further AUD $1 billion in cuts for foreign aid. This takes the total cuts to Australian aid to AUD $11.3 billion over the next 3 years, bringing the nation's aid spending to historic lows.

In the wake of the Vanuatu cyclone and now the Nepal earthquake, Australians continue to show an amazing spirit of generosity. But despite the generosity of Australians, the Abbott Government is moving to take aid levels to the lowest levels in more than 40 years.

These cuts create a lot of uncertainty because a number of programs that have made amazing progress may no longer be funded. This could include cutting education funding for children at risk in South Sudan, disaster preparation in regional neighbors, and much more. 

Consider what this could mean in terms of a long running project Austraia has been involved with: the polio vaccine. In the 20th century polio was one of the most feared diseases in the world. But the introduction of vaccines has reduced this disease by 99% and over the past 25 years more than 10 million people who might otherwise have been paralysed are instead walking. We are literally on the brink of eradicating only the second disease in human history, but if we don't finish the job it could spread across the globe once again. Failure to eradicate polio could result in as many as 200,000 new cases of childhood paralysis every year. This is just one example of why aid shouldn't be cut.

If we are to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030, governments need to be committed to the cause and show they are part of a global community. The cuts to Australian aid mean the country is doing the opposite.

Stand up for the global community by going to TAKE ACTION NOW and tweeting Australia’s Treasurer that you disapprove of these cuts, because you know that these cuts will leave children out of school, the sick out of hospital, and nations underprepared for disasters.Your voice can change this.