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  1. Peter Graves
    Peter Graves October 17, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    Minister Bishop’s focus on women in the aid budget is a welcome priority.

    Hopefully, our foreign aid for 2010-15 still includes AusAid’s microfinance strategy of “Financial Services for the Poor”. One example of its benefits is in Afghanistan, where microfinance aid helps stabilize Afghan livelihoods and stimulate economic development.

    As an example: one 45 year-old widow with 2 children was able to borrow 10,000 Afghanis ($200), buy a sewing machine and make women’s dresses quickly instead of hand-sewing them.

    The thirty million people of Afghanistan face immense development challenges in creating their future, next year and in the years afterwards. Yet our foreign aid to Afghanistan is unfortunately decreasing by 10 %, from $149 million to $134 million in 2014-15.

    It’s not yet mission accomplished in that country and more aid to the Afghan poor would be some small credit to Australia.

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