Developing Nations need our assistance surely no one with a mind and soul would dispute that?
So how much does Australia contribute – spend?
Australia’s aid program focuses on the Asia Pacific region. The international community recognizes Australia’s leading role in the region, particularly in PNG and the Pacific.
The geographic focus of Australia’s aid program also makes sense given that two thirds of the world’s poor, some 800 million people, reside in the Asia Pacific, yet receive less than one third of total aid flows.
Australia continues to provide selective assistance to Africa and the Middle East, primarily working through international and non-government organizations. Click here to see where the AusAID does its work.
Only last February, 2009 OECD praised Australia’s overseas aid program
An Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) review has praised the targeting and effectiveness of Australia’s overseas aid program.
The OECD review was presented to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Stephen Smith, today by the Chair of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC), Eckhard Deutscher.
The OECD review welcomes the Government’s renewed commitment to reducing poverty, its promotion of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and its support for international agencies like the United Nations.
In particular, the OECD acknowledges the Government’s:
Strategic focus on the Asia Pacific, including assistance to East Timor and the Solomon Islands;
Pacific Partnerships for Development as a key feature of the aid program;
Commitment to a targeted engagement with Africa; and
Integration of gender equity into the aid program.
Australia’s Agency for International Development, AusAID, was also commended for its efforts to promote aid effectiveness including by opening up contracting arrangements to global competition.
The establishment of the independent Office of Development Effectiveness, to report on the effectiveness of Australian aid and identify areas of improvement, was also highlighted as an important step in improving the aid program’s efficiency.
The review also welcomed Australia’s commitment to increase its support for developing countries to 0.5 per cent of Gross National Income by 2015.
The top eight countries for Australia Government aid in 2009-2010 (in millions of dollars)
Papua New Guinea 414.3
Solomon Islands 246.2
East Timor 117.0
How is aid delivered?
Australia works with a range of partner organizations including other Australian Government Departments, the United Nations, Australian and international companies and Non-Government Organizations to design and set up projects which tackle the causes and consequences of poverty in developing countries.
This aid is distributed in a number of forms:
Bilateral aid – Aid given from the government of one country to the government of another country. In designing an aid program for an individual country, Australia works closely with the country’s government and its communities. The idea is to make sure that each program reflects the country’s development priorities, our aid policies and our capacity to assist. These programs can incorporate a wide range of activities from small community-based projects to large regional development schemes.
Multilateral aid – Aid is given by the governments of many countries and distributed through international organizations such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the World Food Programme. Australia supports effective multilateral agencies engaged in poverty reduction and sustainable development to complement and reinforce its bilateral aid. This aid is for large scale projects which include emergency relief and funding for transnational issues such as global warming and control of disease, and large scale infrastructure projects. Australia has sought to improve the effectiveness of these organisations by focusing on donor coordination, good governance and sound economic policies.
Emergency humanitarian relief – Aid to help recovery from disasters and conflict. Australia’s emergency, humanitarian and refugee programs respond quickly, flexibly and effectively, providing grants, food aid, medicines and shelter materials. Strengthening preparedness for future emergencies is also part of this response.
Partnerships with Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) – Grants to NGOs to deliver programs which address AusAID’s priorities at a community level. NGOs undergo a strict accreditation program to prove their ability to deliver aid effectively for AusAID.
Community involvement – Funding for volunteer and education programs within Australia.