• Better Aid

    Posted by Micah

    10 January, 2011

    There are, of course, many ways aid can continue to be improved. But these achievements are outstanding changes to the way Australian aid is focused.

    Catalyst believes the overriding reasons Australia should give aid is to reduce poverty. Historically, this has not always been the case. During the Cold War, for example, much aid was given for political purposes.

    In recent years the Australia aid program has seen many improvements.

    • Reducing poverty is now identified as the primary purpose of the aid program;
    • Australian aid is no longer 'tied'. This means that recipient countries are no longer required to spend aid dollars on goods and services provided by Australian companies;
    • An Office of Aid Effectiveness has been created. This Government unit examines the effectiveness of Australian aid and recommends ways to increase effectiveness. The first report was produced in 2008 and identified some key areas to address;
    • The Millennium Development Goals have been adopted by the Australian Government as a key framework for directing aid. This means that as aid volume increases the aid dollars are being devoted to things such as water and sanitation, basic education, and basic healthcare. In 2007, for example,the Government announced an additional $300 million for water and sanitation. In 2008 an additional $500 million was promised for basic education;
    • In 2008 the Australian Government announced a strong focus on disabilities within the aid program. Disabled people are over-represented among the poor and are among the poorest of the poor, so a strong focus in this area is very welcome.

    This article originally appeared in Catalyst's campaign 'More Aid, Better Aid Campaign: Achievements'