The Rudd Government will deliver on its election promise to boost Australia’s commitment to Official Development Assistance (ODA) funding to 0.5 per cent of Gross National Income (GNI) by 2015-16.
Australia’s ODA/GNI ratio is forecast to increase to 0.33 per cent over the coming financial year and reach 0.42 per cent in 2013-14.
This money will be used to help developing countries improve the delivery of basic services, particularly education and health.
The Rudd Government’s commitment to ODA ensures that Australia is doing its bit to help developing countries achieve the global Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
The Rudd Government has made education a flagship of the aid program.
The Government will invest a further $303.7 million over four years in education programs through ODA.
This will include funding 2400 scholarships and short courses over four years under the Australia Awards initiative, announced by the Prime Minister in November 2009.
Investing in health
Investments of a further $173.4 million over four years will be focused on improving health services for the poor in developing countries.
Specifically this will tackle child malnutrition, maternal health, infectious diseases and non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.
Australia will work with developing countries to deliver vital health services and to improve the performance of their health systems with assistance in areas such as financing, procuring medicines and training of nurses and midwives.
Development partnership with Indonesia
The Rudd Government will invest $323.0 million over four years to extend the development partnership with Indonesia.
This will continue our commitment to education funding to help Indonesia improve children’s access to schooling and the quality of education.
This builds upon the highly successful program to construct over 2000 junior secondary schools in Indonesia.
The education initiative will provide around 500 Australia Awards each year by 2013–14.
Humanitarian assistance, stabilisation and peace building
In 2010–11, humanitarian emergency and refugee-related expenditure is estimated to increase to $301.5 million.
This will support the task of Australia’s key humanitarian partners including UN organisations, the Red Cross and other Non Government Organisations to meet urgent humanitarian needs in the Pacific, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.
The Australian Civilian Corps established an interim capacity in 2009–10 to deploy trained technical specialists to countries affected by natural disaster or conflict.
The Australian Civilian Corps will become fully operational in 2010–11.
The Government will increase support for development in Afghanistan with an additional $141.0 million over two years from 2010-11.
AusAID and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) will increase the number of civilians working alongside the Australian Defence Force and development agencies in Kabul, Kandahar and Oruzgan Province.
Part of the ODA-eligible component of this measure will be delivered by the Australian Federal Police to enhance Australia’s policing contribution in Afghanistan, focusing on training, mentoring and retention of Afghan National Police in the Oruzgan Province.
Australia will support international efforts to build the capacity of the Afghan Government and link the capital Kabul with provincial level government, particularly in Oruzgan, to ensure that basic services are delivered to the Afghan people.
Increased support will focus on health, education, agriculture, rural development and humanitarian assistance.
Increased development assistance to Africa
The Government will provide $346.9 million over four years to increase development assistance to the continent. This initiative will increase the number of Australia Awards in Africa to 1000 annually by 2012–13.
Other assistance being provided to Africa will focus on areas where Australia can make the most difference, including food security, maternal and child health and building leadership capacity.
Australia will continue to respond to key humanitarian crises on the continent.
Environment and climate change
It is in Australia’s national interest to support developing countries in their transition to lower carbon economies, including through participation in emerging carbon markets, and to help developing countries build resilience to climate change.
Country programs will focus on reducing deforestation and forest degradation in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea and adapting to climate change in East Timor, the Pacific and the Mekong region.
Adaptation assistance will also be extended to vulnerable nations in the Caribbean.
In 2010–11 funding will continue to build on existing programs as part of our commitment to provide international climate change financing to assist developing countries.
The International Forest Carbon Initiative will receive $56.0 million over two years to 2012-13 to assist developing countries reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.
The International Climate Change Adaptation Initiative will receive $178.2 million over two years to 2012-13 to help the most vulnerable countries adapt to impacts climate change.
The Climate Change Partnerships for Development budget measure will receive $15.0 million over two years to 2012-13 to support developing countries in their response to the challenges of climate change.
To assist countries transition to lower carbon economies and address the impacts of climate change, $106.2 million over three years, including $5 million in 2009-10, will support multilateral mechanisms, such as the World Bank’s Climate Investment Funds.
Including people with disability
The Government will invest $30.2 million over four years from 2010–11 to improve access and social economic opportunities for people with disability, in line with the Government’s Development for All strategy.
Australia will ensure that education and infrastructure activities under the aid program are accessible to people with disability.
We will also support multilateral partners such as UNICEF, to ensure children with disability have access to education.
The Government is committed to ensuring that every dollar spent on aid has the maximum possible impact on poverty and economic development overseas.
As aid expenditure increases towards the 0.5 per cent of GNI target, AusAID will continue to develop its planning systems, operational approaches and reporting systems.
In 2010-11, AusAID will undertake a review jointly with partner governments on the use of technical advisers in the aid program.
The review will seek to ensure each adviser is the most effective, value for money response to meeting agreed need and priorities.