The Foreign Policy versus the Asylum Policy Debate 16.2.

11 In the bid to determine “astute” funding cuts to pay for our Queensland Flood Recovery program, last week the Coalition proposed cutting a handful of foreign aid programs (including spending cuts of $448 million for four years to an “anti-terrorist” Islamic primary school in Indonesia) as the viable and “smarter” alternative. Unbeknown to the Coalition in the days ahead were the heated rows and disputes inevitably unfolding, which encapsulate the divisive issues within the party (and on the outside) on subject matters of refugees, aid and foreign policy. In the past fortnight, we had the “privileged” of witnessing the uprising of Egyptians against the military regime imposed by their President Hosni Mubarak that ultimately lead to an overhaul of their current political system. The protest-turned-demonstrations-turned-revolution brought the people of Egypt a brand new day – the dawning of unfathomable political imaginings. The challenge now for Egypt is not only to reestablish a political system that meets (the majority of) of her people’s needs and aspirations, but also to appease some of the more powerful First-World countries with the common values embedded in their political ideologies; in a nutshell, these are: stability, democratic, and equality. The political imperative for Egypt is to strengthen the economy. No doubt in her efforts to do so, Egypt will require assistance from First-World countries in the form of aid and international agreements to ascertain the kinds of political reforms required to foster better international relations and (hopefully) without bearing the cost of her people’s plight. The opportunity here for Egypt and her allies is to plant seedlings that ultimately resolve conflicts in the in foreseeable future. Putting measures such as foreign aid when given (however small) at regular intervals over consistent periods, can fuel a range of objectives aside of reaching UN’s 2015 Millennium Development Goals for global poverty. Funding aid programs, such as educational, training and employment programs to impoverish communities in its efforts to annihilate terrorism and such, can assist to stabilise the country, which can lead to a decrease in the kinds of political upheavals that renders her citizens to seek asylum elsewhere; unless of course, the threats are coming from somewhere else. So that in a bid to determine “astute” funding cuts, removing multi-lateral programs in the areas of Refugees, Foreign Affairs, and Aid can have far reaching and lasting impact for internal and international politics than had anticipated.

Sally D’Souza is a social commentator on issues relating to politics, arts and culture. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing from Canberra University, a Graduate Diploma of Community Cultural Development and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and (Comparative) Religious Studies. She is also known as the “Twitter Girl” for her witty remarks about current political, cultural and social issues.

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