Gabi Hollows and The Fred Hollows Foundation's CEO, Brian Doolan, have joined other prominent Australians in calling on Prime Minister Julia Gillard to ensure next week’s budget does not break our promise on overseas aid.

The Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), the peak body for aid charities, has voiced concern about the effects of Australia backing away from our promise to the world’s poorest people.

“Most of the people living in poverty worldwide live in our own neighbourhood of Asia and the Pacific,” said Marc Purcell, Executive Director of ACFID. “So, as Australians, we know how important it is stay true to our longstanding commitments on aid.”

In the year 2000, Australia agreed to play its part in global efforts to halve the number of people living in poverty by 2015. The Gillard Government has promised to lift the levels of Australian aid to 0.5 per cent of our national income by 2015. Any reduction to aid funding, or failure to meet projected funding targets, will jeopardise Australia's commitment to those living in poverty.

Australian aid levels are not generous by world standards – ranking only 13th on a league table of 23 wealthy nations that give aid.

The aid that Australia does give makes a huge difference to the lives of people less fortunate.

Read ACFID’s open letter to Prime Minister Julia Gillard calling for Australia to honour its commitment to overseas aid.