Rudd in Lismore for aid forum

FORMER Prime Minister and now Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd will be in Lismore at the weekend to take part in a forum on overseas aid.

The forum, at the Red Dove cafe, will talk about ways Australia’s international aid can be directed and the challenges facing organisations. Mr Rudd will come to the forum at the invitation of Page MP Janelle Saffin.

“Lismore is a great place and Janelle is a great local member. I have visited Lismore many times over the years at Janelle’s invitation and this next visit is long overdue,” Mr Rudd said.

“I look forward to discussing with the community the Australian Government’s aid program and our responsibility is to ensure that this program gets real results.

“With one billion people living in abject poverty, we must not forget that we are talking about people who are part of our common humanity, people for whom each day is a struggle to survive.

“Australians have a great reputation as being givers, and being volunteers and we should be proud that we are responding to the challenge of world poverty by being a real contributor to global development.”

Ms Saffin said the Northern Rivers’ dedication to overseas aid could not be underestimated.

“In this region there are a number of local organisations as well as many dedicated individuals who work to reduce world poverty by their involvement in overseas aid projects,” she said.

“I’m delighted to be able to invite them to this forum with the Foreign Minister to hear first hand about Australia’s international aid program, where the big challenges are, and what is being achieved.

“It is a horrifying statistic that around the world 23,000 children die of preventable starvation or related sickness every day and globally about one billion people are living in extreme poverty.

“More than ten years ago Australia and 188 other countries joined the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and agreed to increase aid with the core focus of reducing world poverty.”

Details of the forum are available from Janelle Saffin’s office: 66219909.

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