March 29, 2018

Stop aid cuts, maintain Australia’s leadership on disability inclusive development

ADDC is shocked and alarmed to hear that the Government is considering possible cuts to the Australian aid budget.

As recognised in the Australian Government’s own foreign policy white paper, Australian aid saves lives, strengthens communities and promotes stability in our region. Australia’s aid budget has already been slashed by 30% since 2013.  Any further cuts to the aid budget will significantly undermine efforts to alleviate poverty and empower the most vulnerable. 

Women, men and children with disabilities are amongst the most marginalized, the poorest and most at-risk in communities and societies in Asia and the Pacific. Australian aid’s ground-breaking disability inclusive development work has made huge progress in overcoming the cycle of poverty and disability in developing countries, yet there is still much more to do.

The Australian government has led the way globally in disability inclusive development in recent years. Australia’s leadership role and credibility in this field relies upon DFAT’s continuing support to disability inclusion work across Australia’s aid program.  This includes continuing DFAT’s partnership work on disability,  funding for DFAT’s Disability Section and renewal of the Development for All strategy in the coming years.

We were greatly encouraged when the Minister for International Development and the Pacific recently highlighted the Australian Government’s commitment to disability inclusive development work when speaking at the Global Action on Disability Network (GLAD) meetings in Helsinki.

Any decision by the Government to now significantly diminish its funding for disability inclusive development work would break this commitment and undermine Australia’s global leadership in this sector.