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Monday 21 Aug 2017 | 18:46 | SYDNEY
Monday 21 Aug 2017 | 18:46 | SYDNEY

Reader riposte: The ALP's aid promises

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This post is part of the Australia's aid budget 2012 debate thread. To read other posts in this debate, click here.

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11 April 2012 18:49


This post is part of the Australia's aid budget 2012 debate thread. To read other posts in this debate, click here.

Marc Purcell, Executive Director of the Australian Council for International Development, responds to 'Are the knives out for the aid budget?':

The Gillard Government committed to scaling up the Australian aid program at the 2007 election, and again in 2010. The 2010 ALP election platform mentioned the 2015 0.5% GNI commitment (twice):

'Australia is also a major contributor of development assistance. Last year, we contributed $3.8 billion in foreign aid. We are delivering on our commitment to increase Australia’s level of development assistance to 0.5% of Gross National Income by 2015-16...'

Again:

'We will deliver on our commitment to increase official development assistance to 0.5 per cent of Gross National Income by 2015-16.'

The ALP platform in 2011 Conference was updated to note:

That Conference:

  • congratulates the Federal Labor Government for its ongoing commitment to increase foreign aid to 0.5 per cent of Gross National Income (GNI) by 2015
  • acknowledges the internationally agreed aid target for official development assistance is 0.7 per cent of GNI and encourages the Federal Labor Government to work towards this goal
  • recognises Australia's foreign aid budget funds programs such as: the building of schools in Indonesia, provision of assistance to the people of Libya; and community development initiatives in Southeast Asia. These programs are a clear demonstration of the compassion, social justice and regional interest that is needed to ensure that Australia is a responsible global citizen, and plays its part in helping to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

The Gillard Government stated in the 2011-12 Budget Blue Book, 'Australia's International Development Assistance Program 2011-12: An Effective Aid Plan for Australia: Reducing Poverty, Saving Lives and Advancing Australia's National Interest', that its forward estimates to reach the 0.55 commitment by 2015/6 would be:

'...to reach this target, the Government expects to increase Australian aid to around 3.8% of GNI in 2012/13, 0.42% in 2013-14 and 0.46% of GNI in 2014-15.’

The Government needs to lift the budget from 0.35% currently to 0.38% in the coming budget if it has any realistic chance of getting to 0.5% by 2015. Any delay would jeopardise the plans arising from the Government's response to the 2011 Independent Review of Aid Effectiveness. To delay would be a core commitment broken and we trust that the Government will remain on track.

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