28 Oct 2008

Australia says it won't cut aid to Pacific

5:08 pm on 28 October 2008

The Australian government says it will not be cutting its aid to the Pacific despite the global financial crisis.

The assurance is being given by Australia's parliamentary secretary for international development assistance, Bob McMullan.

Mr McMullan says with the current global financial crisis, there are international concerns that countries like Australia could resort to withdrawing its foreign aid funding but he says Australia is sticking to its promise.

"People's first reaction in times of crises is one, to look at the pressure that's going to be on the budget, and that's a real concern. And the other is, there's always a temptation to look inwards at your internal problems and not look outwards. But one of the things we learnt from the problems in the 20s and 30s, is the worst thing you can do is turn inwards and turn your back on the world."

Bob McMullan says the government must remain open minded and open hearted and maintain a focus on the global issues as well as domestic problems.