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Development cooperation fact sheets

Social Protection Development Cooperation Factsheet

June 2024

Australian ODA by region 2020-21 Actual ($m)* 2021-22 Actual ($m)* 2022-23 Actual ($m)* 2023-24 Estimated ($m)*
Pacific 116.7 77.4 41.5 71.1
Southeast and East Asia 20.9 24.7 28.5 32.8
South and West Asia 9.2 9.5 34.5 15.4
Global and multilateral 23.6 22.9 57.6 45.3
TOTAL 170.3 134.5 162.1 164.6

*Due to rounding, discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items in totals.

Australian Social Protection ODA 2021-22 Pie Chart.   58% Pacific and Timor-Leste 18% Southeast, East Asia and Other Asia 7% south and West Asia 17% Global and multilateral

Australia supports social protection programs to help safeguard people from poverty and vulnerability across the lifecycle. This assists them to build resilience to better manage daily stressors and unexpected shocks.

Social protection (also referred to as social security or social safety nets) addresses risk, vulnerability, and poverty through a system of cash or in-kind transfers to people. Recent global social and economic shocks, and ongoing pressures including increasing impacts of climate change, have demonstrated the critical importance of strong, inclusive social protection systems in the face of crises.

Strategic direction

In the Asia and Pacific regions, where social protection coverage is variable, Australia is positioning itself as a leading development partner on social protection. Our support helps countries respond to rising poverty and inequality, to better support households to manage day to day economic challenges and mitigate vulnerability and times of risk across the lifecycle, such as old age and during pregnancy. This support addresses barriers to gender equality, disability and social inclusion.  Social protection programs are being strengthened to better respond to humanitarian, climate related shocks and other disasters.

Social protection plays an important role in building the Asia and Pacific region’s resilience to weather multiple and compounding challenges, including around supporting inclusion, social cohesion and stability.

Program highlights

  • Australia is supporting ($21 million) the government of PNG with their new nutrition focused child grant program in partnership with the World Bank (US$80 million loan). The program is aimed at pregnant women and early childhood (first 1000 days from conception) and started rolling out in East New Britain and Madang in 2023.
  • Australia is partnering with UNICEF for the Empowering Girls and Women through Social Protection in Southeast Asia program ($4 million).  The project will strengthen evidence and knowledge on better integrating gender equality, disability and social inclusion into social protection.  Engagement with governments and civil society will improve approaches to policy and practice.


Priority Sustainable Development Goals Goal 1, No poverty. Goal 3, Good Health and Wellbeing. Goal 4, Quality Education.  Goal 5, Gender Equality. Goal 8, Decent Work and Economic Growth. Goal 10, Reduced inequalities. Goal 12, Responsible Production and Consumption.  Goal 17, Partnerships for the goals.
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