Lobby says aid increase not enough to beat shame
The Australian Political Ministry Network has welcomed Prime Minister John Howard's announcement to increase foreign aid to $4 billion by 2010, but sais we will still be languishing around 18th place of the 22 OECD donor countries
"This significant increase will undoubtedly benefit the people of the Asia Pacific Region and make some advances towards alleviating poverty in the region", said Coordinator Regina Lane.
"However, if Australia is to fully uphold its commitment to the Millennium Development Goals, it must go a lot further," she said. "Howard's announcement will mean Australia will reach 0.36% of Gross National Income (GNI) by 2010, when it should be achieving 0.5% in GNI by that deadline.
"It's still a long way from the internationally agreed target of 0.7% of GNI. It will still leave us languishing around 18th place of the 22 OECD donor countries - not a placing that Australians can be proud of.
"If Australia is to remain true to its commitment to the Millennium Development Goals, it must set a timetable for increasing aid towards the internationally agreed target of 0.7% by 2015.
Ms Lane said that the Prime Minister has stressed the need for law and order programs, but that PolMin believes such programs - while necessary - "should not overshadow the need for aid which is aimed at achieving basic human rights".
"Any such aid should be underpinned by the principle of the human dignity of the person, in order to achieve our full potential as a global community" said Ms Lane.
Australian Political Ministry Network Ltd (PolMin) is a national not for profit organisation committed to bringing about systemic change in Australian society through the influencing of public policy for the common good in accordance with the principles of Catholic social teaching.
Aid increase is welcome but doesn't do us proud, says PolMin (Australian Political Ministry Network 20/9/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Australian Political Ministry Network Ltd
Lobby calls Australia's aid budget a 'drop in the bucket' (CathNews 7/7/05)
Catholics lobby welcomes what Budget did for overseas poor (CathNews 17/5/05)
PM's $4bn aid pledge backed by Labor (Sydney Morning Herald 14/9/05)
CAFOD says US has squandered chance to fight poverty (Independent Catholic News 20/9/05)
Nations Not So United Any More (Vatican Radio English Features 15/9/05, audio - requires Real Player)
Caritas Calls UN Summit "Opportunity Forfeited", Urges Re-Commitment (Reuters 15/9/05)
Speed up progress to end world poverty, bishop tells Rice (Catholic News Service 14/9/05)
Vatican Secretary of State seeks stronger UN mandate (Catholic World News 15/9/05)
US Church urges Condoleesa Rice to make poverty a priority at UN Summit (Independent Catholic News 15/9/05)
CAFOD say rich nations are ignoring poor at UN summit (Independent Catholic News 14/9/05)
21 Sep 2005