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Development cooperation fact sheets

Social Protection Development Cooperation Factsheet

May 2023


Australian ODA by region 2020-21 Actual ($m)* 2021-22 Actual ($m)* 2022-23 Estimated ($m)*
Pacific 116.7 77.4 35.2
Southeast and East Asia 20.9 24.7 28.5
South and West Asia 9.2 9.5 34.5
Global and multilateral 23.6 22.9 57.6
TOTAL 170.3 134.5 155.8

*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 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 due to heightened climate change impacts, have demonstrated the critical importance of strong, inclusive social protection (social security) systems in the face of crises.

Strategic direction

In the Asia and Pacific regions, where social protection coverage is lagging, 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 points of vulnerability and risk across the lifecycle. This also addresses barriers to gender equality, disability and social inclusion.  Social protection programs are also being strengthened to better respond to humanitarian, climate related shocks and other disasters.

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

Program highlights

  • Australia's $17 million budget support to Timor-Leste, with technical assistance from bilateral and regional social protection programs, accelerated social protection reform and implementation of a maternal and child grant program, including grants for children with disabilities. The program seeks to reduce poverty and increase nutrition and health outcomes and is on track to be rolled out nationally by 2025.
  • Australia's support to the World Bank ($21 million) facilitated a US$80 million World Bank loan to the government of Papua New Guinea.  This will support the introduction of Papua New Guinea's first social assistance program aimed at pregnant women and early childhood (first 1000 days from conception).


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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