Save the Children shocked at Fed Gvt turning back on children & breaking overseas aid promise
Tuesday 8 May 2012
Child rights agency shocked at Federal Government turning its back on children and breaking its overseas aid promise
Leading child rights agency Save the Children Australia has criticised the Federal Government for turning its back on the world’s most vulnerable children.
Save the Children’s Policy Adviser Nicole Cardinal said delaying the increase in the overseas aid budget to 0.5 per cent of Gross National Income beyond 2015 will cost lives.
“This is a dark day for the children that we could have supported. Today’s decision to delay aid in favour of a budget surplus will have dire consequences for many children in our neighbouring countries,’’ Ms Cardinal said.
“Every aid dollar delayed can mean the difference between a healthy child and a malnourished one, an educated child and an illiterate one, and a child with a promising future and a child trapped in poverty.’’
Ms Cardinal said the government has ignored the millions of Australians who support increased aid to some of the poorest countries in the world.
“Australians know that effective aid for children is both an investment in individual children, as well as an investment in Australia’s future economic prosperity in the region. Given that the 21st century is predicted to be the Asian century, the government is failing to demonstrate the kind of leadership necessary to become a leading player in the region.’’
An example of a successful Australian taxpayer-funded Save the Children program in Afghanistan, called The Children of Uruzgan, demonstrates how investment in health and education can make the difference between life and death for children.
Only four months into the program, two mobile health teams and one health clinic have been set up and 30 health workers trained. There are already 450 pre-primary children receiving early childhood education and about 500 women receiving training in basic literacy and numeracy.
“This program is bringing quality healthcare and access to education for communities in one of Afghanistan’s poorest regions,’’ Ms Cardinal said.
“The impact of this aid investment is clear. What we have lost in today’s Budget is a sustained commitment to investing in what we know saves the lives of children.”
To arrange an interview call Daniel Clarke on 0407 771 072