31 July 2007
If delivered, the extra aid could allow Australia to fund programs to achieve all of the following: reduce child deaths by 140,000 each year, cut maternal deaths by 4,200, lead to at least 29,000 fewer deaths from AIDS and 31,000 fewer deaths from TB each year. It could also provide access to safe drinking water to almost 37 million people.
This pledge follows a recent government announcement promising more money to help play a part in getting 10 million more children in our region into school, and improving the quality of education for 50 million more children.
Earlier the Opposition had indicated its adoption of Make Poverty History's policy of a "debt swap" for Indonesia. The idea is a simple one. If elected, the Australian Labor Party will take $75 million of the debt that Indonesia (a poor country) pays to Australia (a rich country), cancel it, and Indonesia will instead be able to invest the money in programs that fight disease and improve the health of the poor in Indonesia.
These announcements show that political parties are responsive to public opinion and again underlines the importance of ordinary concerned citizens maintaining constant pressure on our elected representatives. We can make a difference!