Talk to us

CathNews, the most frequently visited Catholic website in Australia, is your daily news service featuring Catholics and Catholicism from home and around the world, Mass on Demand and on line, prayer, meditation, reflections, opinion, and reviews. And, what's more - it's free!

Caritas Australia CEO Kirsty Robertson has responded to the federal Budget. (Caritas Australia)

Caritas Australia has welcomed the Albanese Government’s addition of $193 million to overseas development assistance in the federal Budget, but says Australia has a moral, economic and political imperative to support countries in need.

“Additional funding is sorely needed in a world facing unprecedented conflict and humanitarian crises and is required if the government is to meet the targets for overseas aid that it has set itself,” Caritas chief executive Kirsty Robertson said.

She said Caritas Australia is concerned about the lack of growth as a percentage of Australia’s national income, and relative to both global challenges and the investments of other comparable nations. 

“We acknowledge the uncertain economic backdrop against which this Budget was delivered, but it is disappointing to see Australia’s generosity stalling in the face of surmounting global challenges,” Ms Robertson said. 

“Along with others in the sector, we have been calling for the Humanitarian Emergency Fund to be doubled to $300 million to provide an adequate response to the increasingly intense and complex conflicts and natural disasters the world is facing. These problems have direct economic effects here in Australia, so we should be investing in solutions.” 

Ms Robertson said in the past year “conflict has plunged Gaza into one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, Lebanon has come to face one of the worst economic crises seen in 150 years, and hunger in the Horn of Africa remains pervasive with conflict in Sudan pushing millions of displaced people to the brink of famine”.

She said Australia ranked 26th out of 31 of the world’s largest economies in terms of investment in overseas aid relative to the size of its economy. 

“While we understand there are domestic challenges, we want to remind the Government that Australia has a moral, economic, and political imperative to support those less fortunate – people facing hunger, displaced from their homes, that have experienced the worst of violence and suffering,” Ms Robertson said.

“If we want to see a better world and a better future, we must prioritise walking alongside the world’s most vulnerable.” 


Caritas Australia urges the government to show greater leadership amid converging global crises (Caritas Australia)