Australia’s Aid

Government Aid

Until October 2013, Australia’s aid was run by an organisation called AusAID under the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Now, the Department directly runs Australia’s Aid program.

The purpose of Australia’s aid program is “to promote Australia’s national interests through contributing to economic growth and poverty reduction”.  It aims to focus more funds on economic development than previously, as sustainable economic growth leads to other positive H&HD outcomes. Most of the aid is targeted to the Asia-Pacific region, and funding is distributed based on the priorities of the country receiving aid, poverty assessments, Australia’s ability to make tangible change, and our national interest.

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Australia’s Development Priorities (IGA BEE)

  • infrastructure, trade facilitation and international competitiveness
  • gender equality and empowering women and girls
  • aggriculture, fisheries and water
  • building resilience: humanitarian assistance, disaster risk reduction and social protection
  • effective governance: policies, institutions and functioning economies
  • education and health

Health, education, empowering women, and economic development have obvious and direct impacts on poverty and poor human development.  Poor governance means money is spent unwisely or in self-interest, instead of on vital infrastructure and education and healthcare systems to improve the lives of a country’s citizens. Humanitarian aid provides immediate assistance for life and so is an important part of any aid program as it prevents short-term mortality.

Non-Government Organisation Aid

These are some examples of NGOs based in Australia that deliver aid to promote SHD in developing countries:

  • CARE Australia
  • Oxfam Australia
  • World Vision Australia
  • Australian Red Cross
  • Salvation Army International Development
  • TEAR Australia
  • Save the Children Australia

The power of the NGO is that they do not need to act only in areas and on programs that are defined as supporting Australia’s national interest. This means their aid can be delivered to areas which require it most, with less political implications.