June 18, 2014
Today the Australian Government announced a new International Development policy and a performance framework for Australia’s aid program. Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop announced that Australia’s aid program would seek to promote Australia’s national interests by contributing to sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction. The new aid policy will promote a joint focus on private sector development alongside human development.
Part of the new focus on private sector development includes an aim to direct 20% of Australia’s aid program to ‘Aid for trade’ activities by the year 2020. Aid for trade refers to activities which help countries to improve their capacity to trade. In her address to the National Press Club the Minister gave the example of increasing fish exports from the Solomon Islands as an outcome of Aid for trade.
Under the new framework, Australian aid will focus on the 6 areas of trade and infrastructure, agriculture, governance, education and health, humanitarian assistance and gender equality. The government has also announced that 90% of Australia’s aid budget will be concentrated on the Indo-Pacific region.
The Anglican Board of Mission will continue our focus of working with Anglican Church partners and other to see lives empowered and transformed. ABM has worked actively in the Indo-Pacific region for more than 160 years and most of our community development programs already focus on the important areas of agriculture, governance, health and education, humanitarian assistance and gender equality. ABM receives financial assistance from Australia’s aid program for many of our community development projects. We will continue to be guided by the missional imperative to stand in solidarity with the poor and the needy as we apply the benchmarks of the new aid policy.
Further information about the Australian Government’s new international development policy can be found on the Department of Foreign Affairs website.
ACFID Media Release
The Australian Council for International Development’s (ACFID) response to the new Aid Policy can be viewed at this link.