“The Government has made it clear that foreign aid remains a low priority with the Budget handed down (last) night,” RESULTS Australia CEO, Amelia Christie, said.
“While we’re glad the Pacific is seeing a renewed focus, we’re going to see some programs cut and a reduction to aid to Asia and that’s not good news for poverty alleviation programs in our region.
“The Budget is now in surplus, and a bigger than expected surplus, so we’re disappointed that aid isn’t reaping the benefits of Australia’s more positive economic outlook.
“Aid as a percentage of Gross National Income (GNI) is set to decline over the forward estimates from 0.23 per cent this year and dropping year-on-year until it reaches an abysmal 0.19 per cent in 2021/22. For comparison, the UK puts 0.7 per cent of their GNI into foreign aid.
“We’ve been told year-on-year that the aid budget had to wait until we were in surplus to see any real growth. We’re there now, so what’s the hold up?” Ms Christie asked.
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed that indexation of the aid budget will resume in 2022. “That’s a long wait to see any increases to the aid budget that goes to alleviating poverty in our region,” Amelia Christie said.
Story Source: RESULTS International (Australia)