Aid was at its highest under Menzies, at 0.5% … when per capita income was much lower. – World Vision Australia chief advocate Tim Costello, quoted in The Sydney Morning Herald, December 28, 2016.
A news report highlighting the fall in Australia’s foreign aid spending quoted World Vision Australia Chief Advocate Tim Costello as saying aid was at its highest under Prime Minister Robert Menzies, at 0.5% of gross national income – at a time when per capita income was much lower.
A few months ago, new friends of ours came to visit for dinner. So shocked were they by the squat television in our living room that they insisted we accept a flat-screen version they had going spare.
Now, I’m usually of the ‘use it until it wears out’ school when it comes to my possessions and I was quite fond of the old box we had – its colours were still fine, it did its job. It was far from obsolete.
Graham Romanes has had a deep connection with the people of Ethiopia over many decades and now leads the NGO WellWishers. He writes:
“I was very privileged to visit Tigray at the end of November to inspect 10 of the well sites in our 64 wells program for 2015. The program is on target to finish construction of the 64 wells by the end of January 2016. The number of Ethiopian villagers who will now have fresh, clean, safe and accessible drinking water for the first time is over 17,800. A fabulous contribution made by WellWishers supporters to the lives of so many people.
Leaving at a more civilized hour from the youth hostel led to a slightly less civilized trip in the shuttle bus from the RER station. Queuing to get past security gave me an idea of the sheer numbers that the organisers are dealing with at the COP21 site at Le Bourget.
Hard to imagine so many meetings, conversations, information and people can fit into a single day. I guess stalwarts who’ve attended numerous COPs take it in their stride.
Today began with a short briefing for our Climate Action Network Australia (CANA) team, before we walked in to meet Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten in one of the formal meetings room available for delegations and side meetings.
An early start, walking with the AYCC/SEED crew to Gare du Nord under streetlights and a sinking moon, since we’d heard it might be difficult to get in today with all the leaders in town.
On the shuttle bus (navette), I met Yhro from Niger. We discussed deforestation, desertification and the unsustainable use of groundwater (nappe phreatique).
My entry into Le Bourget COP21 venue was slow while security officers took an inordinate interest in the Catholic Earthcare and Multifaith SA banners, but I was allowed through once they’d been closely scrutinized and deemed harmless.
Today we lost a great friend in Vicki Kalgovas. She was a fearless and tireless worker for all that is good, generous and kind, to the planet and to its people.
I first got to know Vicki when we were both working for OXFAM Australia in the 1980s, back when OXFAM was known as Community Aid Abroad. My small tech team was introducing custom-designed Donor Relationship Management software to the OXFAM State Offices. Despite not having had previous computer experience, Vicki took on the new challenge cheerfully and became our most valued software user, always ready with a good suggestion for improvement.
India has come under heavy criticism for blocking the implementation of a World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreement reached at Bali in December 2013.
Proponents celebrated the Bali “package” as a long-awaited achievement by the WTO, which had failed to reach a significant agreement since 1995. However, critics lamented that the Bali deal was skewed in the favour of developed nations.
On our first HCI day, Shilshila Acharya gave us a briefing on the Hamri Bahini (our little sisters) Green Angel project. She’s been intimately involved since the project’s beginning – astoundingly only seven months ago, in February 2013!
By linking the solutions to two intractable problems – the plight of Nepali women working overseas and significant plastic bag pollution in the Kathmandu Valley – the Himalayan Climate Initiative (HCI) has created a great project.