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"Missing in action": Australia slips in foreign aid ranking

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Australia has dipped in the global rankings on foreign aid according to new data from a club of wealthy countries.

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The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development released its annual figures overnight and Australia has slipped from 16th to 17th out of 28 countries.

The Coalition Government has slashed the aid program by $11.3 billion since 2013 and it’s expected to reach its lowest level – 22 cents in every $100 of our national income by 2016/17.

Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Helen Szoke said the nation was giving proportionately less than countries with a lower gross domestic product – including Belgium and Ireland.

“We are missing in action on the world stage,” she said.

Aid groups are struggling to cope with multiple humanitarian crises around the globe.

“Right now, more than 20 million people in four countries – South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria and Yemen – are at risk of starvation, with the UN calling for strong and urgent action to avert catastrophe,” Szoke said.

The United Nations wants rich countries to allocate 70 cents in every $100 of national income towards foreign by 2030.

Campaign for Australian Aid director Tony Milne said the federal government had taken the country’s generosity to “rock bottom”, and urged it to lift its game in the upcoming May budget.

– AAP

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