Julie Bishop must take responsibility for the human cost of her $11 billion in foreign aid cuts, after it was revealed today child protection, domestic violence, HIV, health, education, and clean water projects are being axed in some of the world’s poorest countries.
This morning, two of Australia’s leading foreign aid organisations, World Vision and Plan, announced cuts to a number of their projects as a result of Ms Bishop’s failure to protect the aid budget.
Because of Julie Bishop’s cuts to foreign aid, World Vision says about 1.3 million people will miss out on essential services.
Some of projects being cut include:
- child protection projects in India and Senegal
- gender-based violence, clean water, health, education projects in Timor-Leste
- a HIV project in India
- a vocational education project in Cambodia
- a community resilience project in North Gaza
- an education project in South Sudan
- a youth project in Uganda
Unfortunately, what we’re seeing here is just the beginning. This is the impact of just one round of cuts on projects run by just two of Australia’s many foreign aid organisations. World Vision confirmed today that countries in our region, including the Pacific, will be affected further.
Julie Bishop has signed off on the deepest ever cuts to the aid program in Australian history. She can’t just roll her eyes and shirk her responsibility for these cuts. They have a devastating human cost, and the news we’ve had today from World Vision and Plan proves it.
At every single one of the Abbott Government’s economic updates, the cuts to the Australia’s aid program have grown deeper. 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, most depleted overseas 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.