UNICEF Australia welcomes Foreign Minister Bishop’s new aid paradigm
UNICEF Australia has welcomed the Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop’s unveiling of its new policy and benchmarks for Australia’s foreign aid program.
UNICEF Australia Chief Executive Officer Norman Gillespie said the announcement was evidence of Ms Bishop’s commitment and conviction in ensuring every dollar of Australian aid was maximised.
Dr Gillespie said the benchmarks of Australia’s aid program were central to international development and humanitarian aid organisations, like UNICEF, in delivering accountability and transparency to donors, governments, corporate and NGO partners and the communities in which they work.
“We endorse the Foreign Minister’s efforts to adopt a similar commitment to transparency and accountability that keeps the focus on delivering development and rights to the most vulnerable, including children. We look forward to the Australian Government redoubling its commitment in striving to reach the poorest of the poor, an opportunity which this new framework enables them to do,” Dr Gillespie said.
Dr Gillespie said the Abbott Government’s move from a model of “donor-recipient” to economic partnership was an opportunity to tackle challenging dynamics across regions that were inclusive of all sectors.
However, he cautioned that policies must continue to focus on the most vulnerable.
“Any effort by a donor government to extend the hand of partnership should be strongly supported. Economic growth is crucial to tackling poverty but all aid and development organisations are acutely aware that aid is at its most effective when it is targeting the hardest to reach,” Dr Gillespie said.
Dr Gillespie said it was very encouraging to see a focus on advancing the interest of women and girls.
“It is an ambitious commitment to extend 80 per cent of the aid program to tackle gender equity, and when achieved, promises significant positive change as we know women and girls are so often the drivers of sustainable, holistic development,” he said.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Tim O’Connor, UNICEF Australia
(02) 8917 3247 / 0435 206 273
Kate Moore, UNICEF Australia
(02) 8917 3244 / 0407 150 771
Visit the UNICEF Australia website here.