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LABOR COMMITS $30 MILLION IN URGENT HUMANITARIAN RELIEF

December 15, 2018

A Shorten Labor Government will commit $30 million in new urgent humanitarian relief funding to help address some of the world’s most pressing humanitarian crises.

Labor believes Australia can, and should, be a leader in helping tackle global humanitarian crises, particularly in two areas of need - the Palestinian Territories as well as Myanmar and Bangladesh. 

Labor will increase Australia’s funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) by $20 million.

This aid will assist in carrying out direct relief and works programs for Palestinian refugees and will help fill recent funding shortfalls faced by UNRWA. It will have appropriate oversights to ensure the funding is being used as intended, to directly support development programs for the Palestinian people.

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.

Labor will also provide an additional commitment of $10 million to address the urgent humanitarian crisis affecting the Rohingya people.

Some one million Rohingya people have been displaced from Myanmar and Labor is committed to working with Australia’s partners to find a durable solution to this pressing humanitarian crisis in both Myanmar’s Rakhine State and the Cox's Bazaar district in Bangladesh.

Australia has a deep interest in contributing to global poverty alleviation, and our international development program supports security and stability in our region and beyond.

Since coming to power the Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison Governments have cut well over $11 billion from the development budget, driving Australia’s aid spending down to its lowest level on record.

These cuts to development assistance are a source of international embarrassment for Australia, and are at odds with the generous spirit of the Australian people.

In government Labor will contribute more to international development assistance than the current government. And we will ensure more of it gets to the people who it is meant to be assisting.

The $30 million committed today is an addition to Australia’s existing aid budget and builds on the commitment we took to the last election to boost funding to the UNHCR and increase Australia’s humanitarian intake. 

As a global leader, Labor believes Australia can show humanity, decency and compassion to ensure a fair go for all – at home, on our doorstep, and abroad.

WE'LL PUT PEOPLE FIRST