Townsville based Government Senator Ian Macdonald has paid tribute to a North-Queensland based volunteer service that is improving health outcomes for villagers living in some of the most remote parts of Papua New Guinea.
Senator Macdonald was joined by South-East Queensland-based Senator Claire Moore in the Senate last night in recognising the outstanding work being done by Youth With A Mission (YWAM) volunteers.
“The YWAM approach is a magnificent one,” Senator Macdonald said.
“They (YWAM) bring together people from all over the world, train them to help others in less developed countries on a shoestring budget, and then deliver health outcomes in these rural and remote villages that are valued at $6.5million.”
Senator Macdonald said the group currently receive an annual contribution of $500,000 from the Commonwealth Government, and a $1million contribution from the PNG Government
“These volunteers, both medical and non-medical professionals, donate their time and their skills, they even pay for their own accommodation and food on board the ship, to ensure the funding is directed to where it is needed most – providing remote PNG villagers with basic health services, distributing medical supplies and training local health personnel.
“It is a classic example of how foreign aid should work,” Senator Macdonald said.
Senator Macdonald said he spoke to the Minister responsible for foreign aid in the Pacific, Senator Fierravanti-Wells, to emphasise the importance of how and where Australia’s foreign aid is spent.
“We need to make sure our foreign aid funds are not simply being consumed by bureaucracies in these countries. We want to make sure it goes right to the heart of the work that we as Australians want to do in these countries, particularly PNG for which I think we have a special responsibility.
“Congratulations to YWAM, their organisation and all of their volunteers who do so much work to help our neighbours in PNG and elsewhere around the world.”