ChildFund Australia has welcomed the Government’s decision to strengthen Australia’s aid program through reforms announced today by Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd.
Mr Rudd confirmed this morning that the Government would accept 38 of the 39 recommendations made by the Independent Review of Aid Effectiveness – the first independent review of Australia’s aid program in 15 years – including:
- a new strategic approach with five core goals: 1) Saving lives 2) Promoting opportunities for all 3) Sustainable economic development 4) Effective governance 5) Humanitarian and disaster response
- a new system of accountability to ensure programs are delivering real results
- better use of existing partnerships with NGOs
- increased transparency about how aid dollars are being spent
Mr Rudd said Australia would continue to focus its aid efforts on our closest neighbours, with nearly 75% of the aid budget spent on the Asia-Pacific region – mainly in Indonesia, East Timor and Papua New Guinea. The remainder will go to south and west Asia – primarily Afghanistan and Pakistan – Africa and the Middle East, with just 1% going to Latin America. The Government will also begin to phase out development programs in China and India, due to their growing economic capacity.
ChildFund Australia CEO Nigel Spence says the Government’s response to the aid review is appropriate and constructive.
“There is a clearer objective to alleviate poverty and a stronger focus on people rather than nations. There is also a focus on sectors that will benefit children – maternal and child health, education and empowerment of women and girls. It is also pleasing to see assistance for people with disabilities recognised for the first time as a core development objective.
“This is taking Australia’s aid program in the right direction and should give people confidence that the aid program is making a real difference, as well as being well-managed and cost-effective.”
For more information on the Government’s response to the Independent Review of Aid Effectiveness, visit www.ausaid.gov.au