The Fred Hollows Foundation warmly welcomes Australia’s new International Development Policy, which strives to achieve peace, stability and prosperity through key commitments to transparency and accountability in development, sustainable growth and poverty elimination.
CEO Ian Wishart welcomed the Federal Government’s commitment to expand universal health coverage and affirmed The Foundation’s pledge to working with the government to support its implementation.
“The new policy acknowledges the immense pressures on global health infrastructure, leaving many countries unable to manage future shocks and prevent the rise of non-communicable diseases like diabetes,” Mr Wishart said.
“Health is a force multiplier for development and drives broader outcomes. Restoring sight for example leads to significant economic and development benefits, such as workforce participation and education. As we see populations age across the world, investment in healthcare will be vital.
“We stand ready to turn this policy into measurable action together with the Australian Government through strong investments in health and locally led efforts.
“We believe grassroots consultation, measuring engagement with local stakeholders and the amount of funding directed to local organisations are important performance indicators to build on.
“The Civil Society Partnerships Fund is a welcome addition to this policy. The government’s exploration of innovative financing, such as impact investing, is key to addressing issues like avoidable blindness, as there is a growing need to mobilise private sector and philanthropic resources, and address market gaps.”
The Fred Hollows Foundation acknowledges the policy’s emphasis on climate change as being the greatest shared threat to all countries.
“Action on climate change is critical to fighting poverty in the Indo-Pacific region, especially in combatting neglected tropical diseases such as trachoma,” Mr Wishart said.
“We also endorse the new International Development Policy’s commitment to gender equity and disability equity and rights. Addressing women’s underrepresentation in leadership, including in the health sector, is vital to progress, as are transformative approaches that meet the needs and uphold the rights of women and girls of all ages, including older women.
“Importantly, the integration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s perspectives is groundbreaking. We support meaningful collaboration through harnessing the millennia of First Nations wisdom, fostering holistic development and promoting reconciliation.
“The Fred Hollows Foundation is grateful for the chance to have shared our experiences from the past three decades to help shape the policy and we look forward to contributing to the policy’s priorities and implementation.”
Photo credit: The Fred Hollows Foundation