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Index: ASA 05/8971/2018
30 August 2018
JOINT OPEN LETTER TO THE PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM LEADERS AND OBSERVERS IN THE CONTEXT OF AUSTRALIA’S ABUSIVE OFFSHORE REFUGEE PROCESSING POLICY
Commenting on the aid budget, following the lock-up at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, CEO of the Australian Council for International Development, Marc Purcell, said:
“Off the back of swinging cuts worth $11.3bn over the last four years, the aid budget is set to decline yet again. This is a further cut of over $300m over four years.
The world’s wealthy countries and some emerging economies give aid to poorer countries in the name of economic development and to help overcome the problems they face.
Summary of key points and recommendations
Strategic Priority 1: Values-based diplomacy and Australia’s aid and development
1. There is a set of resilient, Australian values that will resonate with the majority of Australians and will motivate Australian society to see itself as having an open-minded, generous, outward-facing approach to the world. Australia’s foreign policy will have the support of the public when it reflects and projects those values.
Joint Statement on Refugees
We, as a coalition of organisations and community groups from around Australia, are writing to express our concern regarding the humanitarian crisis that Australia has created.
Successive Australian governments have managed and funded offshore detention camps on Manus Island and Nauru. The people detained there are clearly Australia’s responsibility. This situation has reached crisis point, and immediate action must be taken.
Help, not heels and handbags in humanitarian crises
A new report has found that more than 70 shipping containers packed with high heels, handbags, heavy blankets, canned food and other unrequested goods were sent to Vanuatu after Cyclone Pam in 2015. Ten months after the cyclone, 18 containers remained uncollected, accumulating nearly $2 million in storage fees, while more than half of the canned food items had expired.
A duty of care
Women still being sidelined in peace-building
Women are not being effectively use to help build peace and security in the world is the message that civil society gender experts are highlighting as they launch the 3rd Annual Report Card on Australia’s National Action Plan for Women, Peace and Security.
Australian Civil Military Centre, Executive Director Dr Alan Ryan will officially launch the publication tonight at the Australian National University.
ACFID Budget Analysis 2016-17: Cuts Disappointing, Transparency Welcome
While the Federal Budget’s fourth successive cut to Australian aid is disappointing, in its aid Budget Analysis 2016-17 published today the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) has welcomed the Government increasing the program’s overall transparency.
The Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), Australia’s peak body for overseas development and humanitarian organisations, today launched a new interactive map tracking the work of Australian NGOs in developing countries around the world.
“For the first time, Australians will be able to ‘see’ how community and government support for Australian aid and development NGOs translates into critical programs on the ground, around the globe,” said Mr Marc Purcell, CEO of ACFID.
Australia needs to heed the voices of small Pacific Island nations who have today called for action on climate change which is threatening their very survival, according to the peak body for Australia’s aid organisations.
“It is time for Australia to stop making excuses and to start taking effective action to reduce our carbon emissions,” said executive director of the Australian Council of International Development, Mr Marc Purcell.
The Australian Council for International Development has welcomed a recommitment by developed nations, including Australia, to spend 0.7% of their Gross National Income on aid and development at this week’s UN financing conference.
“Recent cuts to Australia’s aid budget mean that we are currently heading in the wrong direction to meet our commitment to 0.7%. Indeed, we are on track to spend only 0.22% of our GNI by next financial year – the lowest level on record,” said ACFID Executive Director, Mr Marc Purcell.
Yesterday’s announcement that the Australian Government will count military and police deployments in humanitarian disasters and peacekeeping operations as part of its aid spend is of concern, according to the peak body for Australia’s aid and development agencies.
“While it is laudable that Australia contributes to peacekeeping missions and provides military support in humanitarian disasters, these deployments do not replace the need for counting accurately what is spent on aid programs to reduce poverty,” said ACFID Executive Director, Marc Purcell.
The single biggest cut to Australia’s aid budget since the beginning of the aid program: Almost $1 billion was cut from 2015-16, representing a 20% cut for the year. The budget also confirms $2.7 billion of additional cuts in 2016-17 and 2017-18. By 2016-17, total Australian Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) as a share of Gross National Income (GNI) will fall to 0.22%. This is the lowest ever level since records began.
Over 50 Australian aid agencies are bracing for cuts to aid programs as the Treasurer brings the axe down on Australia’s aid budget, according to the Australian Council for International Development.
$1 billion is set to be slashed from Australia’s aid budget in the upcoming Federal Budget and aid agencies are preparing for the worst, said the ACFID Executive Director, Marc Purcell.
“For over 40 years, Australian Governments have supported the work of Australian aid agencies, alongside generous donations from the Australian public,” Mr Purcell said.
The Hyogo Framework for Action on Disaster Risk Reduction (HFA) has provided critical guidance to reduce disaster risk. Its implementation has, however, highlighted gaps in addressing the underlying risk factors and effectively safeguarding communities. Evidence at the local level indicates that impacts are increasing.1 This is due to policies and plans not adequately addressing reality on the ground.
Globally, we are witnessing a rise in the scale, frequency and impact of humanitarian crises on vulnerable people, pushing the international humanitarian system to its limits. Australia plays a vital role in responding to these challenges, both in our immediate region and globally. A new paper developed by ACFID's Humanitarian Reference Group (HRG), involving 14 leading humanitarian Non-Government Organisations (NGO), has been launched today, 8 May.