We seek a world in which the Christian vision flourishing is actualised, with extreme poverty alleviated and the dignity of all peoples recognised.
Jesus calls us to ‘love our neighbour as ourselves’ and when asked who our neighbour is, we see that it is not just those we share a fence with, but rather all people, regardless of differences. To love our neighbours well, we seek to ensure our nation is investing generously in the alleviation of poverty, in education and in other programs which restore dignity and ‘set the oppressed free’.
We are blessed to live in one of the wealthiest nations in the world. With this wealth used generously by many, with the Australian population being one of the most generous in the world in terms of charitable giving. Our view is that the Australian aid budget does not fully represent this generosity, nor reflect the role Australia could and should be playing in fighting poverty globally.
In fact, Australia’s aid budget has been on a significant downward trend since the 2013 election. How ‘generous’ donor countries aid programs are, can be seen by comparing their foreign aid to the size of their economy, measured using Gross National Income (GNI). The international target, which Australia supported when it was set at the birth of the Millennium Development Goals in the year 2000, is for an aid-to-GNI target of 0.7%. In 2010, both major political parties in Australia had agreed to increase aid to 0.5% of GNI. Despite this support, after 2013 aid began to continually decrease and is now sitting at a historic low of just 0.19%. Based on the latest estimates, this could drop to 0.18% in 2024-25.
You can read more about Australia’s aid program at the ANU’s Aid Tracker project.
27 out 29
Australia's aid ranking out of wealthy OECD nations
of GNI will be the total aid budget by 2024 if the current trajectory continues
People will be in need of live-saving humanitarian assistance in 2023
We warmly welcomed temporary increases to aid throughout the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic, with over $1.5 billion of additional funding allocated to support international covid responses. The, after the election, we were excited to see the biggest increase to aid in a decade, with an additional $1.4 billion over four years in development assistance for the Pacific and South-East Asia announced.
In the latest budget delivered in May 2023, the Albanese Government announced we saw aid increase by $191.8 million over next 4-years and a commitment to lock in further increases at the rate of projected inflation of 2.5% for the next 10 years after that.
However, because a lot of these increases will be used to ‘plug the holes’ left by temporary packages which were about to expire, and because of rising inflation which leaves every aid dollar buying less, our level of generosity is still at just 0.19% and may even go down further still in future years if more isn’t done to rebuild Australian Aid. So, whilst these notable aid packages are a positive first step, they are unfortunately not enough to reach the aid commitments laid out in the party platform.
We will continue to advocate for increases that reflect a generous and just spirit towards the world’s poor on behalf of our nation. Our goal, alongside the wider development sector, is that Australia’s aid budget would reach 0.5% of GNI as a matter of urgency, given the significant need in the world.
Australia’s aid program is transforming the lives of many. People have sight restored, children receive an education, health rates improve, women and girls are empowered and more. Here is a glance at some of the strong outcomes across Sub-Saharan Africa, the Pacific Region, South East Asia and Beyond:
2.5 million people
across 18 countries in this Sub-Saharan Africa were supported by the work of Australian NGO's - with funding from Australian aid, in 2021-22.
in Sub-Saharan Africa were delivered from 2021-22 across eye health, food security, governance, rural development and agriculture, water health and sanitation (WASH), disability inclusion and gender equality.
people in Ethiopia received emergency assistance from Australia's aid program in the past year, in response to escalating humanitarian need.
people in South-East Asia received emergency assistance in 2021-22.
women and girl survivors of violence received key services, including counselling in 2021-22.
women in the Pacific were supported to take on leadership roles at the community, provincial and national levels over the past 10-years.
people in the Pacific participated in awareness and education about ending violence against women and children through the Pacific Women program.
women and children were able to access crisis support services through the Pacific Women Lead Program
Australia provides humanitarian support across the globe, to support less-wealthy nations respond to pressing crises. The above wonderful outcomes a mere snapshot of the fantastic work. In recent years this funding has provided life-saving support to those on the verge of starvation across the Horn of Africa, Afghanistan and Yemen, supported those on the ground in Türkiye after the devastating earthquakes, assisted those suffering in Ukraine and Myanmar and beyond! This funding truly saves lives.
The number of people needing life- saving humanitarian aid is increasing. In 2023 it is forecast to be 339 million people, 65 million more than 2022. So now is the time for Australia to step up its generosity so that we can love our neighbours well and provide our fair share of support.
National Director Matt Darvas and Government Relations Office Eliza Palmer provide a breakdown of the latest federal budget.