Australians are part of a global community where basic human rights should be afforded to all, no matter where one is born. Yes, charity begins at home but it doesn’t have to end there. We are lucky in Australia that we can afford to respond to those in need at home as well as providing life-saving aid to those beyond our borders.
Australia has the 13th highest GDP per capita in the world according to International Monetary Fund figures and our level of government debt is low compared to other developed countries. Although we are well placed to support developing countries, currently the Australian Government spends around 21 cents in every hundred dollars of national income on overseas aid. We are lagging behind other wealthy countries such as Sweden, who contribute 0.91 percent of Gross National Income, Germany at 0.76 percent, and the Netherlands at 0.50 percent.
Most importantly, overseas aid and development help save and transform lives. For example, the mortality rate for children under five has fallen by 59 percent since 1990. This is equivalent to one in 11 children dying before reaching age five in 1990, compared to one in 38 in 2021. Overseas aid has played a big part in this progress. Unfortunately, thousands of children still die every day so more still needs to be done.