ACFID Statement Following the Appointment of New Foreign Affairs Team

27 Aug, 2018

ACFID congratulates Senator the Hon Marise Payne and Senator the Hon Anne Ruston on their appointments as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Assistant Minister for International Development and the Pacific, respectively. 

ACFID and our members look forward to working with you and continuing the valuable partnership we have with the Australian Government in support of Australia’s aid program.

A strong and effective Australian aid program alleviates poverty; creates prosperity between nations; and builds peace and stability.

Many of the challenges our neighbours face, such as the worsening effects of climate change; an increasing prevalence of natural disasters; and shifting disease patterns, are indifferent to military intervention and national borders.

If the defence budget protects us when threats manifest in attacks, the aid program protects us from that very manifestation.

Australia’s aid program gives children an education; provides the sick with basic health care and prevention against disease; helps communities better withstand natural disasters; builds roads to markets; and creates new trading opportunities between nations.

Programs like these get results. For example, for every $1 spent on Australian aid in Asia has resulted in $7.10 in Australian exports.

These interventions address the root-cause-problems that undermine peace and stability. They also act to deepen Australia’s diplomatic relationships – relationships which are critically important in an era defined by a competition over values in our region.

Playing the long-game of relationship-building through development cooperation will lead naturally to an alignment with Australia’s values, like freedom, equality, the rule of law and mutual respect (as outlined in the Foreign Policy White Paper). For this reason, we have called for development to sit as equal partners with defence, trade and diplomacy.

Our members have been long-standing and valued partners to the Australian Government.

The Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) – the key partnership with the Government –  is unique, as our members match the Government’s own funds for projects. By DFAT’s own assessment, the ANCP delivered nearly 20% of the Government’s results for only 2.7% of overall aid.

With over 1.6 million Australians supporting our members, we also look forward to supporting your engagement with the public on Australia’s aid program, in the region and beyond.

ENDS

For further information, please contact Tim Watkin on 0401 721 064 or at [email protected]