The Australian Christian Lobby has welcomed former Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s call for bipartisanship on raising Australia’s contribution to aid for the poorest nations.
ACL Chief Political Officer, Dan Flynn, said ACL has repeatedly called on both sides of politics to return to the Howard-era commitment of 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income going toward foreign aid. This target was achieved by the United Kingdom in 2013 and became a legislated requirement in that country in 2015.
“The UK have shown the way on this important issue of justice and support for the poorest people in the world to whom Australia has made significant promises to help,” Mr Flynn said.
“Ms Gillard’s call adds another significant voice calling for parliamentarians to put politics aside and make good on our promises.”
By 2020, Australia is on track to sit in the bottom third of OECD nations’ relative contributions on foreign aid. The Lowy Interpreter’s analysis of the 2019-20 Federal budget indicated that Australia’s aid contributions had fallen from a 2013-14 peak of 0.32 per cent to what is now 0.19 per cent.
“When you consider that foreign aid is less than 1 per cent of the total federal budget, a powerful demonstration of bipartisanship would be to secure cross-party support for a specific rise in the aid budget and a pathway to a legislated target,” Mr Flynn said.