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International Aid and Development

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Legislation needed to stop politicians pickpocketing Australia's aid budget: Greens

The Greens are again calling on all parties to work together to develop a legislative framework for Australia's overseas aid spending after the Abbott Government cut a further $3.7 billion from the aid budget as part of the MYEFO mini budget update.

"The Abbott government has taken robbing the aid budget to fund their own domestic policies to the next level of cruelty, with total cuts by his government now around the $11 billion figure," Acting Greens Leader Adam Bandt MP said.

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A legislated aid framework to stop Bishop pick pocketing the world's poor

The Greens are calling on all parties to work together to develop a legislative framework for Australia's overseas aid spending to stop governments of the day from raiding the aid budget to cover their economic mismanagement.

"It is damaging for our relations with low income countries that successive Labor and Coalition governments have slashed overseas aid spending while they continue to state publicly that they support such programs" Greens overseas aid spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said.

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Julie Bishop's hypocrisy: celebrates #40yearsofaid while ripping more out of aid budget

Commenting on media reports that the Abbott Government will announce more cuts to the foreign aid budget, Greens spokesperson for overseas aid Senator Lee Rhiannon said:

"It is insulting that Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is joining in celebrations of 40 years of overseas aid, when all her government has done since coming into office is rip $600 million out of the aid budget with another $7.6 billion in cuts expected over the next five years.

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Estimates: Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee (Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio)

Senator RHIANNON: I now want to move on to issues to do with global health programs.

Senator McEWEN: Senator Rhiannon, just while we are finding someone to answer those questions for you, the mysterious $800,000 was in DFAT's answer to QON 409. It was the amount that had been spent on consultancies for IT integration to date. So perhaps you could take on notice, Mr Varghese, whether that amount is still the same or whether or not it has increased.

Mr Varghese : I am happy to do that.

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Estimates: Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee (Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio)

Senator RHIANNON: I will move on to the Pacific now. How much Australian funding has been contributed to the survey and registration of land for individual land ownership or title in the Pacific?

Mr McDonald : I think we will need to take that on notice.

Ms Rawson : I do not have that level of detail with me so I will take it on notice.

Senator RHIANNON: Thank you. I am interested in where land titles across the Pacific are held. Are they actually lodged somewhere?

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Estimates: Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee (Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio)

CHAIR: Senator Faulkner, could you pause there for a moment, please? I will go to Senator Rhiannon.

Senator RHIANNON: To continue there, with Sierra Leone, Liberia, Britain, the United States and also the NGOs that have approached you about managing the Ebola crisis, which ones have asked for teams to be deployed into west Africa?

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Aid budget robbed for Iraq war

The Greens have condemned the Abbott government's decision to abuse money allocated for overseas aid programs to pay for military operations in Iraq.

Greens overseas aid spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said "Diverting aid money to pay for the war in Iraq will have fatal consequences.

"Funding humanitarian programs including health, education and sanitation are critical for peace, security and bringing stability to this region.

"Earlier this year the government ended all overseas aid funding to Iraq. Five years ago AusAID provided more than $360 million to Iraq.

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Motion: International Development and Disability

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (15:44): I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) 80 per cent of people with a disability live in developing countries,

(ii) over 20 per cent of the world's poorest people in developing countries have a disability,

(iii) children with a disability are much less likely to attend school than children without a disability, and

(iv) it is estimated that armed conflict will be the eighth most common cause of disability worldwide by 2020; and

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