Another missed opportunity as disability funding frozen in aid budget

Media-release | April 1, 2019

The Australian Disability and Development Consortium (ADDC) is dismayed the Government has missed another opportunity to further their global leadership supporting the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities through the Australian aid program. Tonight’s Federal Budget has kept the funding allocated to disability inclusion efforts within the aid program at $12.9 million, within an overall aid budget frozen at $4 billion for the coming year.

An illustration of the top of Australia's Parliament House with the words 'Federal Budget 2019 - What it means for disability-inclusive development'“The level of funding for disability inclusion within the Australian aid program has been frozen for another year. In real terms, this means there will be less funding reaching people with disabilities in developing countries through aid investments in the coming year compared to previous,” said Kerryn Clarke, Executive Officer for ADDC.

People with disabilities in developing countries often face additional barriers and marginalisation, meaning they are overrepresented amongst the poorest of the world’s poor.  Australia’s aid program has worked to address this through disability-inclusive development efforts. Such efforts have had bipartisan support and leadership since the first Development for All strategy for disability inclusion in Australia’s aid program was launched in 2009. The Coalition Government launched the second strategy in 2014 continuing this commitment. A recent review by the Office of Development Effectiveness of the second strategy reported ‘Australian aid has made good progress in strengthening disability inclusion’, however Australia aid investments across the board were far from fully disability inclusive.

“Sustained efforts including maintaining a focus on disability for many years were identified in the review as central to supporting the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities through Australian aid,” said Ms Clarke. “Yet here we have funding essentially cut from the already small amount allocated to including people with disabilities – some of the poorest of the poor – in Australia’s aid programs.”

“As we head into a Federal election, we are calling on both the Government and the Labor Party to renew their commitment to disability-inclusive development in their aid policy platforms through a third Development for All strategy with annual increases in funding. This is vital to ensuring people with disabilities are not left behind from our efforts towards ending poverty and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The Australian Disability and Development Consortium is a network of over 600 practitioners and organisations working across Australia, the Asia Pacific and globally on disability and international development issues.

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Contact Kerryn Clarke, ADDC Executive Officer on

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