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Foreign Aid

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We are a lucky country, a "first world" country, surrounded by many other countries with financial, geographical, climatic and geological challenges that we do not face.  We have a responsibility to contribute, in a manner that is responsible for each of us.

This is a double-barrelled policy statement. 

1.      Foreign aid is required for long-term aid situations for non-urgent crises, such as creeping drought and famine or an education program in a third world country, or a civil war, which builds in intensity over time, or:

2.      Foreign aid is also required for immediate crisis situations, such as a natural disaster in the form of hurricane, earthquake or tsunami type disasters.

Each has a different time frame need and each is critical, but in different ways.


For Australia, foreign aid is necessary to stabilize our region, support situations beyond the capacity of our less fortunate island neighbours and to respond to natural disasters.  In the first type of scenario, our neighbours requiring aid may be smaller Pacific Islands or communities.  These do require whatever resources, not always money, that is necessary to enable them to regain independence, self-sufficiency or stability.  It should be in the order of whatever is required to restore them to the level they previously had, plus a margin for future development.


This is not a dollar figure or a percentage of our GDP, but a level of respect for these communities, our neighbours.  However, neither should it be at the expense of our own industries, in the manner of exporting industries to them at the expense of our own industries or employment situation.  This type of aid would be generated from within Australian resources only.


In the second situation, where a crisis has hit unexpectedly in the manner of a hurricane, earthquake or tsunami, the natural disaster knows no political boundaries, so neither should the foreign aid.


This type of disaster relief needs a global foreign aid agency to be established, non-political, which has the power, capacity and authority to enter any and every country where a natural disaster has occurred and to deliver relief as required.  This could mean flying cargo aircraft into the nations airport, flying supplies, aid, doctors and relief crews by helicopter to the crisis area, either with, or without the authority and support of the country’s national government.  This could mean, as in the case of the hurricane in Myanmar, where the Generals and their Junta forbid foreign aid for two million people, flying in helicopter gunships to protect the aid workers from their own government if necessary, until such times as those people were no longer in harms way.


Further to this, aid should not go to the government of the country, such as with the Indonesian tsunami, where 60 million dollars vanished from donated relief aid, and thousands of containers sat on the wharves for years, because the government would not distribute it.  All aid must go through the agency set up to handle natural disaster relief.


Should the situation be a civil war, invasion or uprising, our defence forces should be used immediately to halt the spread of the unrest, neither taking sides, nor backward steps, but enabling a timeframe or halt in the conflict to enable negotiations to resolve the issue.  If deadly force is required in the meantime, then we have the resources to both maintain a status quo AND defend our troops and forces as required.  This will not be a political statement, or any reflection on the sovereignty of the state involved, but a peacekeeping or peacemaking action only.

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