The OECD just confirmed that Australia has fallen to 17th of 29 wealthy countries as a measure of our aid generosity.
In 2013, we stood as the 13th most generous nation, in 2015 as a result of the largest ever aid cuts in Australia's history, we'd fallen to 16th, and we are now 17th. Australia is one of the wealthiest countries and yet we target programs that assist some the most vulnerable people in the world when we cut aid.
Internationally, we are stepping back from our obligations and the global community notices.
Norway gives more aid than Australia does, though their economy is only one-third the size!
The UK has increased aid to the internationally agreed target of 70 cents in every $100 of national income, while Australia has been pulling back.
This matters because lives are at stake
In South Sudan and Somalia, and neighbouring nations in East Africa, as well as Yemen and Nigeria around 20 million people are at risk of starvation due to drought and crop failure, made worse by conflict. It may be the world's worst humanitarian crisis since World War 2, but without urgent action to prevent this avoidable tragedy, millions of people face starvation in coming months.
The United Nations has appealed for urgent and coordinated action from the global community, yet less than one-quarter of what is needed has been given. Now is not the time for Australia to step back from our obligations as a wealthy nation and global neighbour. We can and must do more to save lives and contribute to global efforts to overcome extreme poverty.