THE peak body for Australia’s international aid NGOs has today welcomed the Prime Minister’s confirmation that Australian aid will increase in line with CPI in the May budget.
The Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) has previously called for a new predictability in Australia’s overseas aid spending.
“One of the key recommendations of our 2014-15 Federal Budget Submission is for the Government to fulfill their election commitment to increase aid, and we are pleased to see that the Prime Minister today in Question Time confirmed his intention to do just this,” said Marc Purcell, ACFID Executive Director.
“As a member of the G20 and the United Nations Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), it is essential that Australia deliver on aid and development commitments in line with our peers,” Mr Purcell said.
“This will mean an aid program that steadily increases and that is accountable and effective in delivering support to the poorest people in developing countries.”
“We note that the Government took to the election a policy that restated their commitment to increasing the foreign aid programme towards 0.5 per cent of gross national income (GNI), consistent with robust benchmarks.”
“ACFID is working with the Government to input into a strong new benchmarking system for the Australian aid program, and consistent with these, we call on the Government to move swiftly to outline a clear timetable towards achieving 0.5 % GNI towards aid,” he said.
“Even when Australia reaches the goal of spending 50 cents in every $100 of national income on aid, this spending will represent only a very small fraction of the Australian Federal Budget. Yet, it can have a massive impact.”
“The majority of people living in poverty worldwide reside in our region of Asia and the Pacific. Australian aid delivers essential social and economic infrastructure to sustainably improve people’s lives. In doing so, our aid program creates a safer and more prosperous world for Australians and for our neighbours.”
“ACFID looks forward to seeing today’s commitment by the Prime Minister turned into action through the
May budget, and stands ready to work with the Government to ensure an effective aid program with a clear timeline for reaching 0.5% GNI,” Mr Purcell said.