Delegates to the ALP Conference have today passed a motion that calls on the Albanese Government to commit to a plan and pathway to achieve a target of 0.5 percent when it comes to the foreign aid budget (ODA) as a percentage of Australian Gross National Income (GNI).
The motion builds on the existing party platform commitment that Labor will rebuild the aid program.
“Labor will increase aid as a percentage of Gross National income every year that we are in office starting with our first budget,” it says.
The Australian Council For International Development (ACFID), the peak body for the aid sector, welcomes the ALP’s recommitment to the aid budget, particularly in its alignment with meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
ACFID now calls on the Government to formulate its plan, setting out increases over the forward estimates as a step towards reaching 0.5 percent.
In particular, we call on the Government to rebuild ODA to the OECD average of 0.36 percent by the end of a second term in power.
Said Marc Purcell, ACFID CEO:
“Australian aid is a vital tool for building better relationships with friends in the region and further afield, and not just talking about it.
“We want to see the Labor Government build on its new development policy by providing a clear plan for increasing the budget over time.
“Currently we’re at the bottom of the league ladder. We know that the Government can and wants to do better. We now need to see their plan in getting there.
“The world today is beset by numerous intersecting crises, and the need for more attention and more money committed towards famine relief, climate change mitigation, stopping violence against women and generally towards meeting the SDGs is more important than ever.”
In the October 2022 Budget, the Government announced an increase of $1.4 billion over four years, which brought the overall annual amount to $4.67 billion per year, or 0.19 percent of Australia’s GNI.
Australia currently sits at a dismal 27th of 30 OECD countries that are listed as aid donors (Development Assistance Committee members, or DAC), despite being the 10th richest country in the world.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals call on developed nations to achieve ODA contributions of 0.7 percent of GNI, and to work to eliminate extreme poverty by 2030.
Australia has many close neighbours that are developing countries, and committing to increase aid levels will help boost our standing and reaffirm partnerships in the region.
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