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PM's first week sees cuts to polio eradication funding

With the world on the cusp to become polio free, the Greens have have expressed their dismay at the Australian government's cut to polio eradication funding by half.

"The Global Polio Eradication Initiative was started by an Australian in response to the worldwide tragedy that is polio," said Greens spokesperson for international aid and development Senator Lee Rhiannon.

"The complete eradication of polio is in sight. To back away from our full funding commitment to this initiative is incredibly irresponsible

"Only last year Foreign Minister Julie Bishop promised $100 million over five years towards polio eradication, with a fifth of that delivered to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

"In May that commitment was broken when the coalition government raided the aid budget yet again, with over $11 billion slashed from aid in the last two years.

"Now the remaining $72 million commitment to polio eradication efforts will be cut in half.

"In his last iteration as leader Mr Turnbull has committed to increase Australian aid to 0.5% of GDP.

"Yet in his first week as Prime Minister this time around his government has delivered a 50% cut to one of the world's major health accomplishments.

"The world is on the cusp of completely eradicating polio within just a few years. It beggars belief that this government would withdraw its commitment to ensuring this outcome not even two years after first making the commitment.

"It is incredibly disappointing that Mr Turnbull is singing from the same song sheet as his predecessor when it comes to aid," Senator Rhiannon said.

Contact: Brami Jegan - 0487 350 880

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