Acting Greens Leader and International Aid & Global Justice spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi has welcomed the new development policy’s focus on climate, gender equality objectives and references to poverty alleviation, while criticising major omissions.
Senator Faruqi said:
“An international development policy misses the elephant in the room if it doesn’t set clear benchmarks for the overall aid budget. The Government should have committed to increasing the aid budget to 0.7% of GNI by 2030 in line with UN targets.
“Giving international aid policy a climate focus is all well and good, but what’s the point when the Government is actively making the climate crisis worse by opening new coal and gas mines.
“This policy ignores the reality that international aid is a necessary and urgent act of global justice rather than an act of charity or strategic tool.
“Aid should be used to right historic wrongs and to build communities in parts of the world that have been left destitute by the ravages of colonialism, exploitation and climate change.
“The story of how international aid is viewed and distributed can't be separated from the story of colonialism, just as the industrialisation of the global North cannot be separated from colonialism.
“We need a global, needs-based approach. Focusing international aid to our region and ignoring the rest of the world is motivated by self-interest.
“The most important thing Australia can do for the Global South is to stop opening new coal and gas mines.”