4 May, 2016

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Australia has condemned the federal government’s $224 million cut to overseas aid that makes Australia’s aid budget the least generous in its history. Cuts announced in the 2016-17 federal budget on May 3 mean Australia will give just 0.23 per cent of gross national income (GNI) to overseas aid. This is the lowest percentage in Australia’s history, and well below the 0.7 per cent recommended by the United Nations and which countries like Britain give. ADRA Australia chief executive Mark Webster said the cuts were “very disappointing”. “The aid cuts announced last night are morally wrong because Australia has a responsibility to be a good neighbour. “Our desire to see the world restored to God’s intended beauty is significantly hindered by the government’s decision to cut funding from those it will impact most,” Mr Webster said. Despite significant lobbying from the charitable sector, the federal government still proceeded with the cuts. “This is the fourth time in a row the federal government has cut Australian aid, which is really disappointing. We call the government to reverse these cuts and restore aid funding to organisations and programs that have demonstrated effectiveness. “But it won’t stop us working to make amazing things happen through our projects in Australia and overseas, and to restore hope to people in poverty.” ADRA Australia is part of a wider coalition of churches and agencies through Micah Australia which continues to fight for fairness in the aid budget. Micah Australia national coordinator Ben Thurley said: “While many other countries are increasing their international assistance towards the fight against poverty, Australia is stepping back its role in building a fairer world,” ADRA Australia is a Christian aid and humanitarian agency that empowers communities and changes lives in Australia, the Pacific, Asia and Africa. It is a member of the Australian Council for Social Services (ACOSS) and the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID). For more information about these or any of ADRA’s work overseas or here in Australia visit www.adra.org.au or call 1800 242 372. Media enquiries: news@adra.org.au or 1800 242 372

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