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CBM calls to restore the budget for people with disabilities

Media-release, Stories | March 3, 2021

Leading disability-inclusive international development agency, CBM Australia, is calling on the Australian Government to restore the disability allocation within the Australian aid budget, which it cut by 25 percent.

CBM described the move as short sighted for a government that has promised to protect the most vulnerable. It will see people with disabilities already living in poverty left further behind during a global pandemic.

CBM CEO Jane Edge said COVID-19 pandemic has had a catastrophic impact on people with disabilities.

“People with disabilities have lost their jobs disproportionately more than people without disabilities; can’t get enough food to eat or access to health services – much less protect themselves from the virus.

“We are still dismayed by the budget cut at a time when the world’s most vulnerable are being pushed even further to the margins. We must act now and restore the budget.”

CBM is calling for the Government to reverse the cuts and to increase the central disability allocation to a minimum of $14m per annum, representing just 0.35% of Australia’s total aid spend.

“The disability budget is a very small amount that can go a long way to bring local voices of people with disabilities and their agendas to the table,” Ms Edge said.

“Australian aid should represent not just our economic might, but our clearly-defined values. Ours is a country that was among the first to sign the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and it led the way by introducing the world’s first strategy for disability-inclusive international development.”

CBM Australia has launched an urgent petition calling to restore and increase funding for disability inclusive development in Australia’s aid program. CBM will present the petition to political leaders ahead of Federal budget in May.

“Australia is a world leader when it comes to inclusion. This means we must maintain a policy commitment and adequate funding to ensure that people with disabilities are consulted and included in all aspects of Australia’s international COVID-19 response and recovery. It will help save lives and ensure the poorest of the poor are not left further behind”, Ms Edge said.

Jane Edge is available for media interviews. Jane is Chief Executive Officer of CBM Australia and Vice President (Finance) of the Board of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID).

CBM Australia is a Christian international development agency, committed to improving the quality of life of people with disabilities in the poorest places in the world.

CBM Australia is a member of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID)

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