About the Campaign for Australian Aid

Australian Aid helps people living in poor communities within our region and across the world break down the barriers of poverty which prevent them from realising their God-given potential and build a better and fairer future.

A World of Difference

Over the past twenty years, Australia has partnered with governments and communities to make great progress towards ending global poverty through our aid program.

Australian Aid is helping the world’s most promising people as they break down the barriers of poverty that prevent them from realising their potential and shape a better and fairer future. 

Among many other remarkable achievements, in the last year alone Australian Aid has helped to:

  • build more than 9,000 new classrooms
  • enrol over 1.4 million more children in school.
  • vaccinate more than 2 million people
  • provide 2.9 million people access to safe drinking water. 
  • respond to emergencies in 24 countries, including Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Australian aid, as part of global efforts, has helped to reduce child deaths by almost 50% since 1990, and helped to reduce maternal mortality by around 47% over the same period.

These are all outcomes to be proud of!

Why Now?

Australia’s foreign aid budget has suffered from successive cuts, and has lost the bi-partisan support it once held.  In less than 18 months, the Abbott Government has cut $11 billion of Australian aid, bringing our nation’s aid program to its lowest level since records began. These have dramatically set back our national contribution to the crucial progress of international development.

In response, the Make Poverty History and Micah Challenge coalitions (involving over 50 organisations) have launched the Campaign for Australian Aid to build a new movement of Australians who believe it’s unjust and unacceptable to balance our books on the backs of people in poverty.

We believe that now, more than ever, is a critical time for Australians to stand up for the life-changing work of our aid program.

How much do we currently give?

In 2013 Australia’s contribution to overseas development assistance was 0.33% of our Gross National Income (GNI) – less than 35 cents in every $100. In 2014 this figure had dropped to 0.27% of GNI and in 2016 Australian aid will fall to 0.22% of GNI. 

To put this perspective, this amount does not reach even half of the international aid target of 0.7% GNI, and means that less than 1% of Federal Government expenditure is dedicated to supporting our poorest neighbours and helping address global challenges.

Our Australian aid program is now the least generous it has ever been.


How does Australian aid compare with other countries?

As a result of the recent aid cuts, Australia has dropped its international ranking from 13th to 14th most generous aid donor in 2014, lagging behind other OECD countries like UK and Germany who increased their aid efforts last year.

Aid effectiveness - what does our aid achieve?

Aid is not a magic bullet to end poverty, but – used well – it can be a powerful way to help save and improve lives, build capacity and provide opportunities for communities and nations to overcome poverty and tackle challenges such as:

  • ensuring food security and adequate nutrition for all
  • improving access to and quality of education
  • empowering girls and women
  • ensuring sustainable access to clean water, decent sanitation & adequate hygiene information
  • preventing and treating killer diseases
  • creating decent jobs and ensuring sustainable and inclusive human development
  • preparing for and responding to disasters
  • adapting to climate change

The Government has recently sharpened the "national interest" focus of Australia's aid program to bring it more in line with Australia's other commercial and strategic interests. We must therefore ensure that combatting poverty remains the primary focus of Australian aid and that any new policy measures and priorities are measured against how effectively they help tackle the causes and consequences of poverty.

What can you do?

You can join the campaign and be an ambassador for Australian aid.

> Sign up to the campaign and be alerted to ways you can take action online and in your local community.

> Join us at Voices for Justice 2015 in Canberra this October 10-13 and meet face to face with our nation's leaders to advocate for a more generous and just Australian aid program.

Campaign for Australian Aid is a joint initiative of the Make Poverty History and Micah Challenge coalitions, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for all Australians who believe we can and should do more as a nation to end extreme poverty around the world.

Find our latest blogs on Australia's aid program here.