A country's aid budget is generally measured as a proportion of a nation's gross national income (GNI). Australia's total contribution fell to just over $3 billion in 2016, or 0.25 per cent of GNI. This is well below the average of 0.32 per cent of GNI recorded by the 29 OECD countries last year.Read more
Given Australia is one of the world’s wealthiest nations, it is deeply disappointing that tonight’s budget sees Australia’s overseas aid cut to the lowest in our history.
We are spending just 22 cents per $100 of national income to help the world’s poor.
There is no quarrel with the idea that countries, like families, need to live within their means.
But most of us have mortgages and yet still manage to sponsor a child through child sponsorship and give to our local church’s mission programs helping the poor in developing countries.
Just as we are encouraged to be generous as individuals, so too should our nation.
ACL will use the election campaign period to encourage both sides of politics to begin re-building our aid program.
It remains a great shame to both sides of politics that they walked away from the Millennium Development Goal promise to increase aid to 0.7 per cent of GNI.
The Australian Christian Lobby today welcomed reports that Foreign Minister Julie Bishop confirmed to the Coalition Party Room that there would be no new cuts to Australia’s overseas aid program in tonight’s federal budget.Read more
The Australian Christian Lobby has expressed dismay at media speculation that further cuts will be made to Australia’s overseas aid.Read more
Australia’s aid to poor people overseas should be quarantined from further cuts in this year’s budget, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.Read more
John Beckett is the National Director for Micah Challenge Australia. ACL’s Katherine Spackman caught up with him at Parliament House as hundreds of young Christians from across Australia were there to meet politicians and advocate for the global poor. Particularly they were there to shine a light on global tax dodging.Read more
The vast amount of money developing countries lose as a result of these practices could be better spent providing essential services such as healthcare, education and water to millions of people facing poverty around the world.
Micah Challenge is encouraging people to get on board with this campaign by uploading a 'shine the light selfie' to its campaign website and sending it to their politician to raise awareness of the issue and promote change.
To find out more about the campaign and how you can get involved, visit the official website at shinethelight.com.au.
For release: Thursday May 1, 2014
The Australian Christian Lobby is concerned that today’s Commission of Audit report paved the way for a broken election promise on overseas aid.
Managing Director Lyle Shelton said the Coalition made an election promise to boost aid to 0.5 per cent of Gross National Income once the budget position improved.
“The Commission of Audit’s recommendation to drop the election promise by de-coupling aid funding from GNI should be rejected,” Mr Shelton said.
“Great Britain, whose budget position is far worse than Australia’s, has already achieved the Millennium Development Goal target of 0.7 per cent,” Mr Shelton said.
“It is disappointing enough that both sides of Australian politics walked away from Australia’s 0.7 per cent MDG promise as part of a push to halve world poverty by 2015.
“A recommendation to now walk away from the election promise to at least reach 0.5pc should be rejected.”
Mr Shelton said ACL was grateful for the Coalition’s response to its traditional pre-election questionnaire and had distributed it electronically to tens of thousands of Christian voters.
“This will be a disappointment to a great many Christians who have been coming to Canberra for years lobbying Australian politicians to keep the nation’s promise to the world’s poor.
“While having a fiscally responsible budget is important, Australia is a very wealthy country compared to most in the world and we should be generous to those suffering extreme poverty.”
Mr Shelton said he hoped any proposal to cap aid would be a temporary measure.
For release: Tuesday April 22, 2014
The Australian Christian Lobby has welcomed the government’s announcement that it will contribute $20 million to provide schooling for Syrian refugee children but says more should be done given the scale of the crisis.
ACL’s Managing Director Lyle Shelton said whilst the government’s pledge is commendable, the enormity of the humanitarian crisis in Syria requires a lift in our humanitarian intake from 13,700.
“So far, around 2.7 million people have been displaced as a result of the continuing crisis in Syria and 140,000 have died in what is one of the world’s biggest humanitarian crises since World War II.”
Mr Shelton said cuts to Australia’s Millennium Development Goal promise on overseas aid would also restrict our ability to respond.
“We are a prosperous country by comparison and have a moral responsibility to provide greater aid to those suffering around the world, especially given the large number of displaced persons in this instance,” Mr Shelton said.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop yesterday announced that $20 million would go towards a joint Australia, United States, United Kingdom and United Nations initiative to provide schooling for almost one million Syrian children.
Earlier this month, ACL expressed disappointment at a senate inquiry report recommendation to extend the time by which Australia increases its overseas aid in line with its bi-partisan MDG promise.
Mr Shelton said that the escalating number of asylum seekers from Syria meant a refugee intake of just 13,700 was too low for an adequate response to the sheer numbers of people displaced by the Syrian and other conflicts.
Tuesday 1st April 2014
The Australian Christian Lobby has expressed disappointment at a senate inquiry report recommendation to extend the time by which Australia increase its foreign aid.
Last week, a senate inquiry into Australia’s overseas aid and development assistance program released its report, with one of its 24 recommendations suggesting Australia’s target of 0.5 per cent of gross national income (GNI) be met by 2024-25.
ACL’s Managing Director Lyle Shelton said both Labor and the Coalition had pledged to meet this target by 2015.
“Australia is a prosperous country and has a moral responsibility to provide greater aid to the world’s poorest,” he said.
“This new time frame is a major step back in our country’s role in meeting the Millennium Development Goals. More importantly, it’s a huge failure to the millions of people whose lives are at risk each day because of poverty,” he said.
Mr Shelton said overseas aid is an expression not only of mercy and national generosity but of justice.
“In a region where there are enormous vulnerabilities for natural disasters and public health issues, Australia’s contribution to increasing aid is a means of acting justly to ensure the long term peace, health and wellbeing of the region in which it resides,” he said.
However, Mr Shelton welcomed the recommendations for the government to release an overarching policy framework for Australia’s aid program and to refrain from mid-year changes to the aid budget.
“We urge the government to build upon the strategic and policy framework for assessing Australia’s aid program which was developed in recent years,” he said.
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