International Aid & Development
Lee is the Australian Greens spokesperson on international aid and development and has a long-standing interest in this area. Prior to working with the Greens, Lee co-founded and spent five years as the Director of AID/WATCH, dedicated to monitoring the social and environmental impact of Australia's overseas aid program.
In 2012 Labor and the Coalition walked away from a bipartisan commitment to increase overseas aid to 0.5 per cent of gross national income by 2015. Australia is playing the bad neighbour in a region with some of the highest rates of poverty and child malnutrition in the world.
The Greens believe that Australia, as a wealthy nation, has a responsibility to contribute our ‘fair share’ to poverty alleviation in less developed countries and devote 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income to overseas aid by 2015.
But there is much more to it than increasing the dollar amount spent on aid.
Lee is campaigning to ensure that Australia’s spending on aid is transparent and accountable and that projects are not harmful for local communities or the environment. The key purpose driving the Australian aid program should be alleviating poverty, not promoting our national political and commercial interests.
In 2012 Lee secured support for a Senate Inquiry into Australia’s aid program in Afghanistan. You can read more it here.
As part of this she uncovered the Defence Department wrongly categorised almost $190 million in military spending as foreign aid.
Lee is currently working on:
- Social justice and environmental problems with the construction the Xayaburi dam across the Mekong River
- Labor government's support for a destructive gas project in PNG
- Scrutinising mining and development aid funding
- Threats to Australian funded aid projects in the Middle East
- Increased funding for sexual and reproductive health services in South East Asia