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Op ed: Foreign aid cuts offer a cruel climate for those in need

This piece was first published by the The Big Smoke on 1 April 2014.

The Abbott government’s downgrading of action on climate change combined with the savage cuts to the Australian foreign aid budget are set to significantly increase the levels of poverty and the hardship that millions of our neighbours in the Asia-Pacific region live through on a daily basis.

The Coalition requirement that aid programs deliver for Australia’s national interest instead of poverty alleviation is also driving down the effectiveness of our overseas development work.

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Abbott delivers final twist of the knife to aid program

Responding to reports that the Abbott government has removed poverty alleviation as a goal of Australia’s foreign aid program, Greens international aid and development spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said:

 “Australia has dealt yet another savage blow to the world’s poorest by removing poverty reduction from the goals of the foreign aid budget.

 “There seems to be no limit to the Coalition’s harsh and selfish attitude towards our aid program.

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Motion on Syria

Senator MOORE (Queensland) (16:02): I, and also on behalf of Senator Rhiannon, move:

That the Senate-

(a) notes that:

(i) the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria is staggering, and that according to Oxfam and CARE - two non-government organisations (NGOs) operating in the region - estimates suggest that:

(A) more than 100 000 lives have been lost and more than 2.2 million people have fled the country since 2011,

(B) an estimated 9.3 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria, and

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Motion: Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Senator RHIANNON: I move the motion as amended.

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) Australia and other donors are due to announce their 3-year pledges to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria at the replenishment meeting being held in Washington DC on the morning of 4 December 2013 (AEST),

(ii) the Global Fund is seeking a total of $15 billion to build on progress in bringing an end to AIDS, TB and malaria,

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