Prominent Australians Join Campaign To Increase Foreign Aid
2 May 2012 at 1:29 pm
Over 150 prominent Australians including Hugh Jackman, Geoffrey Rush, Jimmy Barnes and the Wiggles have joined forces to ask Prime Minister Gillard to keep the bipartisan promise to increase foreign aid.
An Open Letter, organised by The Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) has been sent to the PM, saying that millions of Australians, young and old, expect this commitment to be maintained in the upcoming Budget.
The letter says “this is a question of whether Australia can be trusted to do what it says it will do.”
Gillard Government has promised to lift the levels of Australian aid to 0.5 per cent of national income by 2015.
It says: “Reaching the 0.5 per cent target means just 50 cents in every $100 of our national income will go towards our aid program. This falls short of the global target of 0.7 per cent, but it still means a lot to the world’s poor.
“Keeping this promise on aid could save the lives of at least 800,000 extra people over the next four years.”
ACFID says despite the need for a tough Budget the letter warns the Prime Minister about reports indicating that aid spending is on the hit list.
“…we cannot balance the books with the lives of the world’s poor,” the letter says.
“We the undersigned, and the more than 2 million Australian households who generously support aid organisations each year, urge you to keep the promise to increase aid to 0.5 per cent by 2015-16.”
“It is up to you to prove that when Australia makes a promise, we keep it.”
ACFID is the peak Council for Australian Not for Profit aid and development organisations working to eradicate inequality and extreme poverty. ACFID currently has over 70 members.
The Open Letter can be found at http://www.makepovertyhistory.com.au/wp-content/uploads/Open-Letter-to-the-Prime-Minister1.pdf