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Greens call for immediate reversal of aid cuts to NGO Cooperation Program

Greens overseas aid spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon has called on the Turnbull government to move quickly to restore aid funding to the Fred Hollows Foundation and other non-government aid groups to ensure people in low income countries do not miss out on vital care and assistance.

"The Lateline report on critical programs run by the Fred Hollows Foundation that restore the sight of young children should be a wakeup call to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to restore funding to the Australian NGO Cooperation Program," Senator Rhiannon said.

"In this year's budget the Australian NGO Cooperation Program was cut by five per cent dropping from $134 million to $127.3 million.

"The Australian NGO Cooperation Program is possibly the most effective part of the aid program.

"The outstanding work of the Fred Hollows Foundation in Africa restoring the sight of so many is just one example of why this program should not be subjected to the savage cuts that have come to mark the Liberal-National approach to aid.

"The ABC program showed the human impact of the cruel funding cuts in one village in Africa.

"The government should take its lead from this report and come clean and provide details of the overall impact of the cuts to the Australian NGO Cooperation Program.

"$11 billion has been cut from our overseas aid program in the past two years.

"The Greens have committed to raising the aid program to 0.7 per cent by 2025 and to ensure that all funds bring benefits to disadvantaged people in low income countries," Senator Rhiannon said.

Contact - Brami Jegan 0433 054 712

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