Five billion dollar aid budget to focus on the region
I confirm today that the Australian Government's annual aid budget for 2013/14 will be $5.042 billion, refocused on reducing poverty in the Indo-Pacific region and tied to rigorous benchmarks.
The Government is committed to investing aid in the sustainable development of our close neighbours. Our aim is to lift the living standards of the most vulnerable people in our region through aid for trade, better health and education outcomes, empowering women and girls and leveraging private sector involvement.
Under the Abbott Government aid spending will be tied to measurable outcomes. Rigorous benchmarks will be introduced to ensure integrity in the Australian aid program and to give Australian taxpayers greater confidence in its effectiveness. Under the previous Labor government, the rapid growth in Australia's aid budget was neither targeted nor sustainable. With a $47 billion budget deficit this year and gross government debt projected to rise to $667 billion, we must ensure Australia's aid program has a funding base that is responsible and affordable. This year's aid expenditure will be $107 million less than last year. From 2014/15 the $5 billion aid budget will grow each year in line with the Consumer Price Index.
The Government is providing stability and future certainty to partner governments, international organisations and non-government organisations.
The Government has commenced a consultation process, working with key stakeholders, NGOs and partner governments, to develop rigorous benchmarks and to promote an accountable performance culture within the aid program.
I will ensure the Australian aid budget is managed effectively and directed to organisations delivering on-the-ground support to those most in need.
For further information visit the DFAT website