May 10, 2017

Why cutting foreign aid (again) is such a terrible idea

Foreign aid is intended not only as a humanitarian gesture but is also to help circumvent potential longer term problems of poor governance, instability and potential for conflict.

Professor Damien Kingsbury — <em>Crikey</em> international affairs commentator

Professor Damien Kingsbury

Crikey international affairs commentator

foreign aid budget cut

Last night's federal budget announced further cuts to Australian foreign aid to help fund an expansion of the country’s counter-terrorism activities. There is no doubt that counter-terrorism is both necessary and expensive, but it is a failure of logic -- as well as Australia’s commitment to international welfare -- to conflate foreign aid with what amounts to intelligence, military, immigration and policing issues. 

Australia is already outside the top 15 aid donors, as a proportion of GDP. Of the world’s 28 aid donor countries, Australia’s aid budget has been cut more than any other in recent years, without including the loss of aid funds allocated to pay for its offshore asylum seeker detention program.

Free Trial

You've hit members-only content.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Join the conversation

The Crikey comment section is members-only content. Please login or sign up for a FREE trial to engage in the commentary.

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details