Australia’s largest humanitarian organisation World Vision has welcomed bold recommendations to set an aid budget target in the first report of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Inquiry into Australia’s aid program.
In stark contrast to the Federal Budget’s slashing of the aid budget, the bipartisan report calls for an expansion of the aid program and legislation to set a minimum 0.5 per cent spend.
World Vision Australia CEO Claire Rogers said the report represented a significant shift from the politicisation of the Australian aid budget over the past six years, and showed some parliamentarians were willing to “think outside the box”.
“The Committee recommends that the government in the next year commit to a timeframe of five years for boosting aid funding to at least 0.5 per cent of gross national income, and 0.7 per cent within ten years,” she said.
“Enshrining a budget target in law would place us alongside our international partners such as the UK, US, Canada and France, which take similar approaches to aid. It would provide greater certainty to those our aid program aims to help – the most vulnerable people around the world, including displaced children.
“I want to thank the Chair of the Foreign Affairs and Aid Sub-Committee, Liberal MP Chris Crewther, and Deputy Chair, Labor Senator Alex Gallacher, for recognising the inherent generosity of Australians and seeking to restore our reputation.”
She called on the next Government to accept and implement the recommendations contained in the report, given they have bipartisan support.