STATEMENTS BY SENATORS - International Development Assistance

STATEMENTS BY SENATORS - International Development Assistance Main Image

29 March 2023

Australia's official development assistance program is our nation's primary source of financing for Australia's contribution to international development aid. Our ODA funding has the potential to improve the lives of millions of people in developing countries. Our government, the Albanese government, recognises this potential and the impact of a strong ODA program not just to deliver life-saving assistance and economic development but to directly contribute to the stability and resilience of our own nation.

That's why under the Albanese government we have already begun rebuilding Australia's official development assistance program. On top of existing funding, we've expanded our Pacific Step-up commitment with an additional $314 million.

This is in stark contrast to the previous government, whose failed Pacific Step-up program was funded by gutting funding in every other area. This resulted in more than $11 billion being slashed from our ODA budget, and this contributed, frankly, to the strategic setbacks in the region and the strategic challenges that we've had in competing for influence and contributing to stability.

We've also lost specialist skills and knowledge on that as a result of the last government's decision to merge DFAT and AusAID. I'm really proud of what our ODA funding is now focused on: poverty reduction, education, humanitarian crises, economic and infrastructure development, empowerment of women and ultimately DFAT's capability to deliver life-saving assistance.