World Vision Australia CEO, Claire Rogers, has welcomed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s announcement of a $500 million climate finance package for the Pacific but said it should not come at the expense of the existing aid budget.
“World Vision is pleased to see a commitment from the Federal Government to support action on climate change in the Pacific, given it is one of the most climate change disaster-prone regions of the world,” Ms Rogers said.
Ms Rogers noted the new funding announcement in the Pacific is no more than a reallocation of funds from a cannibalised aid budget.
“This $500 million commitment over five years is not new money but comes from an already-depleted Australian aid budget.
“The aid budget is already at its lowest level as a proportion of GNI in our history.
“Using existing aid funds to tackle climate change is robbing Peter to pay Paul and will put deeper pressure on vital development projects in other parts of the world,” Ms Rogers said.
World Vision supports community development programs in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Timor Leste and Vanuatu that help build resilience against the effects of climate change.
“This commitment should be just the start of the step up of Australia’s international climate finance,” Ms Rogers said.