THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
JULIE BISHOP'S AID CUTS FORCE CHARITIES TO AXE PROGRAMS IN 24 OF THE WORLD'S POOREST COUNTRIES
Julie Bishop’s $11 billion of foreign aid cuts are forcing charities to axe critical projects in at least 24 of the world’s poorest countries, with more than 1.3 million people to miss out on essential services.
Child protection, domestic violence, HIV, health, education, and clean water projects are set to go.
Some of projects being cut so far include:
- child protection projects in India and Senegal
- gender-based violence, clean water, health, education projects in Timor-Leste
- water, sanitation, and hygiene project in Papua New Guinea
- a domestic violence support project in Indonesia
- a HIV project in India
- a vocational education project in Cambodia
- an education project in South Sudan
- a youth project in Uganda
Where charities have had to cut aid programs, so far:
COUNTRIES LOSING AID PROJECTS
|Care Australia||PNG, Timor Leste, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Tanzania, Malawi, Ethiopia, West Bank (Palestinian Territories)|
|ActionAid||Afghanistan, Uganda, Kenya|
|Oxfam||Indonesia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Timor Leste, Vanuatu, Bangladesh, South Africa|
|World Vision||Kenya, Senegal, South Sudan, Uganda, India, Laos, Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Peru, West Bank (Palestinian Territories)|
|Plan International||Indonesia, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Uganda, Cambodia, Timor Leste, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar|
|ChildFund||PNG, Timor Leste, Laos and Sri Lanka|
Unfortunately, what we’re seeing here is just the beginning. There will be more bad news to come.
Julie Bishop has already backed away from reports last month she had convinced her Cabinet colleagues to spare foreign aid from further cuts in the upcoming Budget.
When asked by the ABC today if she could guarantee there would be no further aid cuts, Ms Bishop said: "Aid budget allocations will be determined in the context of the 2015-16 budget process…"
Julie Bishop has signed off on the deepest ever cuts to Australia’s foreign aid program. She can’t just shirk her responsibility for this. Ms Bishop’s cuts have a devastating human cost, and the news we’ve heard today from foreign aid charities proves it.
At every single one of the Abbott Government’s economic updates, the cut to Australia’s aid program has grown. There were cuts in the 2013 mid-year update, more cuts in the 2014 Budget, and more cuts again in the 2014 mid-year update – totalling more than $11 billion.
Ms Bishop now presides over the weakest foreign aid program in Australian history.
Under Julie Bishop’s plan, by 2016, Australia will spend just 22 cents in every $100 of our national income on foreign aid – the lowest ever. Over the next decade, that is set to decline further, to 18 cents in every $100.
SATURDAY, 18 APRIL 2015