MYEFO: Australian Foreign Aid takes another budgetary body blow

With the release of MYEFO 2014-15, Steph Lentz fears the generous nation that Australia has always been to its foreign friends is under threat, but hopes #saveAustralinAid might redeem us.


Adding insult to injury in terms of Foreign Aid, the Mid-year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2014-15 (MYEFO) makes this nation the least generous it has ever been to its global neighbours.

Frankly, it’s un-Australian.

On Monday, releasing MYEFO, Treasurer Joe Hockey announced a $3.7 billion reduction in aid funding, taking the coalition government’s total foreign aid slashing to just over $11 billion since September 2013.

“Australia has transformed into the global Scrooge just in time for Christmas, with spending on foreign aid set to plunge compared to other wealthy industrial countries,” wrote Daniel Flitton in The Age.

In the wake of MYEFO and the Abbott government’s third aid cut since taking office, a sector-wide response was launched today, spearheaded by Agency, Australia’s leading creative studio for social change. The interactive micro-website and social media drive (#saveAustralianAid), “illustrates the type and scale of health, education and relief programs that could be shut down as a result of cuts to the aid budget,” says Tim Middlemiss, Director of Communications at Agency.

The Campaign for Australian Aid, the parent campaign to the microsite, will be launched to the public in early 2015, backed by strong support across the Australian aid and development sector, and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Campaign for Australian Aid steers the conversation away from “give because we should” and even “give because we can” towards “give because we do”.

Australians are generous. We look out for our mates, wherever they hail from and whatever they hold sacred (#IllRideWithYou).

Just by being Australian, over the last 50 years you’ve helped immunise thousands of children, helped feed hundreds of households and empowered people in poor communities to break down the barriers to opportunity set up by poverty.

Australian Aid works, and that’s something to celebrate!

It’s high time to stand up for Australian Aid, because it makes a world of difference.

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