Australia's aid helps fight poverty & meet regional challenges
Why is aid important?
Australian Aid helps millions of people across the world living in poor communities. Aid saves lives through breaking down the barriers of poverty which prevent people from realising their God-given potential and building a better and fairer future.
But aid is also important for the development of soft power. Australia needs both hard and soft power to remain active in our region. We need military defence, diplomacy and influence. And, we need overseas aid. Aid helps opens the way for effective relationships with our global neighbors, and it also contributes to stability in our region and beyond.
Not only is aid the right thing to do, it's the smart thing to do.
What does Australian aid do?
Every year, Australian aid impacts the lives of children, families and communities around the globe. When it comes to Australia’s aid program, a little investment goes a very long way. In recent years, Australia’s overseas aid helped to:
- vaccinate almost 3 million children against killer diseases
- provide safe water and sanitation to 87,000 people in Sri Lanka
- help 2.5 million children enrol in school in Afghanistan
- distribute more than 130 million treated bednets to prevent malaria
In the last 20 years, the world has made great progress against poverty and Australian Aid has played a part in that story. But there is much more to be done.
How much does Australia give to aid?
A recent poll by the Campaign for Australian Aid showed that generally people think Australia spends about 13 percent of the federal budget on foreign aid, and, believes we should spend about 10 percent.
The truth is that Australia spends $4.0 billion dollars on overseas aid – that’s just 0.22% of our gross national income, or 22 cents in every $100. This is set to drop even further to just 19c in every $100 of GNI by 2021.
This means that despite being one of the wealthiest nations and most robust economies in the world, Australia is one of the least generous when it comes to aid.
A peer review released by the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) in April 2018, showed Australia has fallen a further two places to 19th on the global aid leaderboard, our lowest ranking ever.
Why has aid been cut and what is the result of this?
Since 2013, in cumulative terms, the Australian aid budget has been cut by over 30 per cent. This is despite a bipartisan agreement by both major political parties in 2000 to raise the level of aid to 0.5 per cent of GNI by 2015, to meet the looming global challenges. As part of the Millennium Goals during this time, Australia joined a global movement to halve extreme poverty, and this ushered in almost a decade of increases to Australia’s aid budget.
At its highest point in 2012-13, Australian aid reached 0.34% of GNI – but since then, we’ve seen successive cuts for the past five years. Aid is now at it's lowest ever level in Australian history, effecting not only our reputation in our region, but impacting the lives of those who benefit from aid the most; the poor and the vulnerable.
What can I do?
You can join us for our Voices for Justice conference from 1-4 December in Canberra. This will be a powerful four days of advocacy, training, worship and teaching where you will be equipped to go and meet with your MP and state senator in Parliament and express your views on Australian aid. You can register your interest here.
Want to know more about aid? Download this comprehensive guide.