Why does Australia give aid?
Australia’s overseas aid is an investment in a better future for our world, our neighbours and our country. Aid has made a significant difference in communities around the developing world in recent years.
In addition to the impact that aid can have on people’s lives, the Australian Aid program also promotes Australia’s interests by contributing to sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction – and that’s an important point to remember. Less poverty in the world is good for everybody, not only because of a moral obligation to end inequality.
In a globally interconnected world, aid benefits more than just the communities that receive a hand up from the Australian Ad program. For example, when local communities flourish, they contribute to stronger economies. This provides more and better trading opportunities for Australian businesses with its neighbours. Social and economic stability reduces the risk of political instability, just as access to education for all likely reduces the emergence of radicalisation and better equips communities to respond to it if it occurs – all of which benefits Australia in the long term.
How much do we actually give?
On average, Australians think we invest 16% of the Federal Budget on overseas aid, and believe that we should be spending something closer to 12%. In reality, Australia spends $4.0 billion dollars on overseas aid – that’s just 0.22% of our gross national income, or 22 cents in every $100.
In comparison, the United Kingdom has enshrined a commitment to spend 0.7% of GNI in aid every year into law. We are lagging behind other wealthy countries such as Sweden, who contribute 1.1 per cent of GNI, the Netherlands at 0.65 per cent, and Germany at 0.41 per cent.
What does Australian Aid look like, and does it really make a difference?
Every year Australian Aid improves the lives of millions of people around the world.