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Promoting the Fair Share Campaign

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					                                                   Fact & Action Sheet November 2004

Letting our parliamentarians know about the Fair Share Campaign

In September the Australian Council for International Development and thirty of its member
agencies including RESULTS, World Vision, Oxfam Australia, Caritas and many others 1
launched the Fair Share Campaign to convince the Australian government to do its fair share
towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The MDGs were agreed by all members of the UN in 2000 and consist of the following 8 goals
for 2015:

1.   To   reduce poverty by half
2.   To   provide universal primary education
3.   To   ensure women equal rights and opportunities
4.   To   reduce infant mortality by two-thirds
5.   To   reduce maternal mortality by three quarters
6.   To   halt the spread of HIV/AIDS and other diseases
7.   To   ensure environmental sustainability; and
8.   To   establish a global partnership for development.

The MDGs have become the central framework for development throughout the world and
are being actively supported by the agencies of the UN, the World Bank, most developed
nations and most developing countries. While not enough is yet being done to achieve the
MDGs (especially in Africa) there has been a great deal of genuine work carried out across
the world and the pace of this action is increasing.

To give some examples:

         19 out of the 22 OECD2 donor countries have committed to increase their aid or to
          maintain aid at 0.7% of GNI or above – Australia, Japan and New Zealand have not.
         5 donor countries have indicated they will reach 0.7% by certain dates (Ireland 2007,
          Belgium 2010, Spain 2012, France 2012, the UK 2013). This will mean that 10 of the
          22 OECD donor nations will be giving 0.7% of more.
         Over 80 developing nations have completed at least one MDG report detailing their
          progress towards achieving the MDGs and many of these countries have also
          integrated the MDGs into their national anti-poverty plans.
         A number of developed nations have reframed their aid programs around the MDGs
          and are evaluating their programs in terms of the goals.
         Countries such as The Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and the UK have
          begun to pool their aid in order to more effectively support the poverty reduction plans
          of countries such as Uganda, Zambia and Mozambique. In the past donor nations
          were more focussed on running their own independent programs which maximised
          publicity and economic benefits for the donors but were not the best way to help poor
          countries.


1
 see Appendix for other groups involved in the campaign
2
  The OECD – Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development – is an intergovernmental organization of the developed
nations established in 1961. Its goals are to help "member countries promote economic growth, employment and improved
standards of living through the coordination of policy" and to encourage "the sound and harmonious development of the world
economy and improve the lot of developing countries, particularly the poorest."
             The G8 has prioritised further debt reduction and the UK has recently announced that
              it will cover its share of poor countries' debt (about 10% of the total).
             Major international programs to reduce HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB and childhood diseases
              have been set up and are starting to have success
             and too much more to mention here!


                                                       ODA as a percentage of OECD member GNI 2003

                                                                                                                                      Norway
                                                                                                                           Denmark
                                                                                                                        Netherlands
                                                                                                                    Luxembourg
                                                                                                        Sweden
                                                                                              Belgium
                                                                   Ireland
                                                                   France                                 Australia at 0.25% of GNI now ranks 14th
                                                            Switzerland                                   out of 22 OECD donor countries (down
                                                        United Kingdom                                    from 12th in 2000) and gives only about
                                                                                                          one third of the internationally agreed
                                                        Finland
                                                                                                          target to aid.
                                               Germany
                                             Canada
                                           Spain
                                           Australia
                                      New Zealand
                                    Portugal
                                    Greece
                                   Japan
                                   Austria                         0.5% level needed             UN target 0.7%
                           Italy                                       for MDGs
                         United States

        0.0                   0.2                            0.4                        0.6                       0.8                          1.0   1.2
         Source: Development Assistance Committee - OECD                     % of GNI



In other words, in most places around the world the Millennium Development Goals have
really struck a chord with people and have been seen as the best opportunity yet to work
together to significantly reduce poverty.

However the Australian government is yet to embrace this opportunity, and as a result, is yet
to make any practical commitment towards achieving the MDGs.

In brief, for Australia to do its fair share requires that we:

             significantly increase aid towards the internationally-agreed target of 0.7% of our
              national wealth and to at least achieve 0.5% of GNI in the near future3;
             focus our aid on basic rights such as education, health, clean water and sanitation for
              the poorest people and co-ordinate our aid better with other donors;
             cancel the debts owed to us by poor countries who can’t adequately support their own
              people while they have to repay wealthier creditors;
             work for fairer trade to help the poor trade their way out of poverty; and
             actively participate in international initiatives to increase global finances for aid and
              development.
Australia has consistently advocated improved agricultural trade access for the poorest
countries over the last 20 years, and has supported the Highly Indebted Poor Countries

3
 The UN Millennium Project estimates that aid will need to reach at least 0.5% of GNI globally if the
MDGs are to be achieved.
(HIPC) debt initiative to a degree. However it could do more in both of these areas and
needs to do much more in the aid area.

While AusAID often does very good work with partner countries the low level of aid (only
0.26% of GNI) means that it can only provide significant support to the small Pacific nations
and Timor-Leste. The aid budget will need to double for us to be doing our fair share and for
Australia to provide significant support to the poor in other countries.

Table 1 Australia's aid support by region

                                               proportion    proportion of    % of        Australian aid    Australian aid
                                               of            very poor        country     per capita from   per very poor
                                               developing    population (ie   allocated   country           person from
                                               world         income <         aid         allocated         country
                                               population    US$1 per         budget      budget in A$      allocated
                                                             day)                                           budget in A$
The Pacific                                          0.1%           0.3%       53.4%      $110              $300
Sth East Asia                                       10.1%           4.7%       29.4%      86 cents          $8.77
West Asia                                            2.3%           0.6%        2.2%      29 cents          $5.57
Sub Saharan Africa                                  13.8%          27.9%        4.4%      10 cents          22 cents
South Asia                                          28.0%          40.3%        6.9%      7 cents           24 cents
East Asia                                           25.2%          19.5%        3.7%      4 cents           26 cents
CIS                                                  8.0%           1.5%          0%      -                 -
Latin America & the Caribbean                        9.9%           5.1%          0%      -                 -
North Asia                                           2.6%           0.2%          0%
Source: Australia's International Development Co-operation 2004-05, World Bank Povcalnet, World Bank WDI



In addition the Australian aid program needs to coordinate better with other donors and
developing countries around the MDG goals and to evaluate its performance in terms of
achieving the MDGs. At present AusAID's focus and monitoring processes are designed as if
the MDGs didn't exist.

It is now four years since Australia committed to supporting the MDGs and we need the
Australian government to turn its statements of support into practical action. In September
2005 the nations of the world will be meeting at the UN to review the MDG progress to date
and to commit to the extra effort needed to achieve the MDGs by 2015.

Most of the advocacy goals of RESULTS are directly related to the MDGs (eg microcredit –
Goal 1, basic education – Goals 2 & 3, diseases of poverty – Goals 4, 5 and 6, water and
sanitation – Goal 7). RESULTS will be returning to each of these areas and to the MDGs in
the coming year.

As part of the Fair Share campaign RESULTS will be working alongside people from many
other groups and will have the support of millions of people and thousands of development
agencies throughout the world. All we are asking is for Australia to meet the commitments it
has already made and to carry its fair share of the burden. The cost is so little and the
benefits to all countries of achieving the MDGs would be so great. It is likely that the
Government will only give a higher priority to incorporating the MDGs into policies if
parliamentarians from all parties speak out in support of the Fair Share campaign.

Action:
Write a letter to your Federal MP or Senator in your State to let them know about the Fair
Share Campaign and to ask to meet with them to seek their support for the campaign.

Parliamentarians can support the campaign by:

       writing to their party leaders seeking commitment to the MDGs
      agreeing to speak in favour of the MDGs in parliament and their party room
      joining the Fair Share email network for MPs and advisers on current developments
       and opportunities to be involved
      agreeing to speak in favour of increased overseas aid in budget deliberations
      being willing to be interviewed by the press about the MDGs
      writing letters and articles to newspapers in favour of Australia doing its Fair Share
       towards the MDGs
      writing about the MDGs in their newsletters to their constituents.

Resources:
The Fair Share website http://www.acfid.asn.au/fairshare.htm contains much more
information on the campaign and the UN Millennium Campaign website
www.millenniumcampaign.org is a great source of information on the MDGs and what is
happening globally to achieve them.

For tips on how to visit your MP see: www.results.org.au/information/mps_visit.doc

Appendix: Members of the Fair Share Campaign – with more to come!
Anglican Board of Mission
Anglicord
Archbishop of Sydney's Overseas Relief and Aid Fund
Australian Baptist World Aid
Australian Business Volunteers
AUSTCARE: Australians Caring for Refugees
Australian Council for International Development
Australian Relief and Mercy Services
Australian Reproductive Health Alliance
Australian Volunteers International
Caritas Australia
CCF Australia
Christian Blind Mission International
Foundation for Development Cooperation
Fred Hollows Foundation
The Friends of the Earth Australia
International Needs Australia
Marist Mission Centre
Oxfam Community Aid Abroad
PALMS Australia
Plan International
Australia Quaker Service Australia
RESULTS Australia
Save the Children Australia
Sexual Health & Family Planning Australia
TEAR Australia
Union Aid Abroad—APHEDA
United Nations Association of Australia
Uniting Church Overseas Aid
World Vision Australia

Fair Share is also working closely with Micah Challenge Australia which is promoting the
MDGs among the Christian community.

				
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