The Federal Budget fails to adequately address one of the key issues of our time – the state of Third World poverty. By not sufficiently providing increased aid and development, the Budget has also prevented Australia from fully achieving our foreign policy objectives.
This Budget has failed to increase aid funding from its current level of 0.3% of GDP, despite the Australian Government’s previous stated target of 0.7%. This represents a massive disappointment to the Australian aid and development sector.
Although the actual dollar amount has increased, our overall aid commitment is still at 0.3% of GDP.
We welcome the increase in allocation towards aid focused on education and health.
For the first time, the government has made clear projections for aid allocation for the next 4 years. The projections hold true to the commitments laid out in the 2006 White Paper. However, they fall well short of the affirmed commitments the Australian government have made towards increasing foreign aid to 0.7%.
While we welcome the increase in budgetary allocation towards basic education and health, the sad reality is that despite all the Government’s fine talk we are still less than half way towards the United Nations target of 0.7% of GDP by 2015.