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The importance of accountability

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The Australian Council for International Development has lobbied the government to keep its promise on development spending.

This year’s aid budget totalled $5.2 billon, a $315 million increase from last year. However, there was no gross national income (GNI) increase to 0.38% as we had hoped, the aid budget staying at 0.35% of GNI. The 0.5% of GNI target and the aid growth that we have all been promised by both sides of the house has been delayed a year until 2016/17, so has lost its link to the Millennium Development Goals and the original four year timetable of the Aid Review. The Treasurer described this as “deferring aid growth”.

“Delaying the delivery of this promise is a profound disappointment,” said IWDA Executive Director Joanna Hayter. “We shall hold both sides of the house accountable to this promise and to the impacts that last night’s budget decision will make on the lives of millions of people in our region—people who believe that Australia’s development partnerships are based on trust and long term engagement.”

The detail on how aid will reach women and girls and the agencies best placed to accelerate and amplify such program effectiveness will take deeper analysis. IWDA will provide this commentary in the days ahead.

It is important to know that we are confident that without our recent intense lobbying efforts, the budget increase to 0.5% would have been pushed back to 2020.
Two press releases from the Minister for Foreign Affairs last night explained that the government’s new Aid Policy Framework will channel 70% of aid to the Asia and Pacific regions. 30% of the aid budget will be delivered through multilateral partnerships (two banks and six UN agencies). 10% of the aid budget will be delivered through NGO partnerships with indicative figures showing an increase from approx. $500 million in 2011/12 to $7-800 million by 2015/16. We understand the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) funding will increase to $110 million in 2012/13 (an increase of $12 million for the next financial year).

So the aid budget has increased but at much lower levels than promised. The bi-partisan promise to the GNI target of 0.5% must remain an accountability for both parties and will remain firmly at the centre of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) members’ lobby.

Take action by contacting media outlets and politicians via the Make Poverty History website.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 under Front page, Recent.

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