12 February 2014
Senate supports Greens amendments calling for $96 million increase in aid to Syria
Greens foreign aid spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon today successfully moved amendments to a Labor motion calling on the Australian Government to increase its aid to Syria.
Senator Rhiannon’s amendments put a dollar figure on the increase in humanitarian aid the Senate has called on the Abbott government to implement.
Senator Rhiannon said: “The Abbott Government’s shameful contribution of $12 million towards the humanitarian crisis in Syria is a disgrace. By comparison Kuwait has donated $553 million, Britain $181 million and Norway $235 million.
“The Coalition is more than happy to dish out every year $12 billion in fossil fuel subsidies to help boost the profits of mining companies. However, when it comes to assisting Syrian refugees that are suffering a terrible fate of displacement, freezing temperatures, war and hunger, all they can offer is $12 million.
“$108 million is still a drop in the ocean to help the 2.3 million Syrian refugees who have fled to neighbouring countries, but given we are dealing with a government that has no interest in compassion and humanity, this is a starting point.
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Details of motion:
Notice of Motion 101 – Senator STEPHENS
12 February 2014– (amendments from Senator Rhiannon agreed to in blue)
I give notice that on the next day of sitting I shall move that the Senate -
(a) the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon;
(b) the former Labor Government’s contribution of $100.8 million to humanitarian assistance;
(c) the Abbott Government’s contribution of $12 million;
(d) the contribution of other international donors such as the United States (AU$420 million), the United Kingdom (AU$181 million), Kuwait (AU$553 million) and Norway (AU$235 million); and
(2) Calls on the Abbott Government to immediately increase its humanitarian aid commitment to people affected by the Syrian conflict in line with Oxfam Australia’s call for an additional $96 million.