Responding to the announcement that Labor would commit $30 million in urgent humanitarian relief funding to address the urgent humanitarian crisis affecting the Rohingya people, and towards the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Dr Helen Szoke said:
“Oxfam welcomes this commitment to these two pressing crises, but we know that the world is facing the biggest series of humanitarian crises since World War Two – and agencies are struggling to assist people in need.
“Right now, much-needed Australian aid that funds this kind of work – and other life-saving work around the world – is at an historic low. This must be turned around.
“Oxfam is calling on Australian Labor to ensure that funding the overall Australian aid program is a priority as it meets in Adelaide for its National Conference.
“This urgent funding is very welcome – but a gaping hole remains. We urge Labor to commit to increasing aid significantly, on an annual basis and over the long term, at its national conference.
“The Australian public is generous – and increasing aid would be in our national and strategic interest, as well as the right thing to do.”
Oxfam is on the ground in Bangladesh, and has reached more than 260,000 of the most vulnerable Rohingya refugees with clean drinking water, portable toilets, sanitation facilities and other essential supplies.
Oxfam also delivers an Australian aid funded agricultural project in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, aiming to connect Palestinian farmers to domestic and international markets.
The new $20 million in funding will be additional to funding Australia has already committed under the Strategic Partnership Framework between DFAT and UNRWA, which is due to end in 2020.
If elected, Labor also will provide an additional commitment of $10 million to address the urgent humanitarian crisis affecting the Rohingya people.
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