Australia's Aid Budget: Promoting Regional Stability, Security and Economic Growth
I am pleased to announce that Australia will provide $1.894 billion as
Official Development Assistance (ODA) in 2003-04, an increase of $79 million
over the 2002-03 budget figure ($1.815 billion) and a real increase of over 2
per cent. This results in an ODA/GNI ratio of 0.25 per cent, again placing
Australia above the donor average which, in the latest year available (2002),
is 0.23 per cent.
Conflict and instability, including the threat of terrorism, impact directly
on the development prospects of countries in our region, and therefore
Australia's national interest. The aid program, through support for
conflict resolution and peace building, helps lay the foundations for
sustainable development and poverty reduction.
The Australian Government's aid program will continue to place a high
priority on promoting development in the Asia Pacific region, with a focus on
good governance and enhancing the capacity of partner governments to promote
peace and manage non-military threats to security such as people trafficking
and trade in illegal drugs.
AID BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS
A continuing commitment to supporting good governance, peace building and
delivery of basic services to communities in the nations of the Pacific is
demonstrated by an increase in total aid flows to $176 million - a real
increase of over 4 per cent on the 2002-03 budget.
A $7.5 million Peace and Security Fund will be established to provide
flexible and targeted assistance to directly address needs in post-conflict
societies such as the Solomon Islands. The Fund will also address the threat of
terrorism and other aspects of trans-national crime that are of concern in the
Total funding to Indonesia will increase by $30 million to $152 million
to support improved governance, counter-terrorism and more effective delivery
of basic services. Australia will assist Indonesia to improve the quality and
accessibility of its mainstream education services, and improve health services
as a practical memorial to the victims of the Bali bombing. Australia will also
provide substantial support for Indonesia's elections in April 2004.
Regional counter-terrorism measures in East Asia will receive additional
funding from Australia. This includes activities in support of an APEC
Leaders' initiative to halt terrorist financing, promote cyber security,
and protect cargo, ships, aviation and people through improved border and
Continuing substantial support will be provided to Papua New Guinea to
improve economic and public sector management and maintain government
Funding of $132 million will be provided for international humanitarian,
emergency and refugee programs, a significant increase on the 2002-03 aid
budget figure of $116 million. This will further enhance the aid program's
ability to respond quickly, flexibly and effectively to a range of humanitarian
needs, within our region and around the world, especially those resulting from
disasters and conflict.
With $100 million already committed, Australia will continue to play a
significant role in humanitarian relief and reconstruction in Iraq,
particularly in the area of agriculture.
Australia will also continue to respond to food needs in Africa during the
current severe famine.
As part of its commitment to supporting developing countries take advantage
of the opportunities offered by the Doha round of trade negotiations, Australia
will increase trade-related assistance to developing countries by
approximately 10 per cent.
Recognising that some 800 million people in the developing world are
undernourished, Australia will pledge $1 billion over five years to programs
and initiatives that enhance food security.
As part of this, in 2003-04 Australia will join with other key bilateral
donors in making a multi-year commitment of $16.5 million to theGlobal
Conservation Trust, to provide secure funding for flora gene banks to
support food security and agricultural resources in developing countries.
To coincide with the International Year of Freshwater, an estimated $94
million will be provided in 2003-04 towards programs that enhance the
sustainable management of water resources and services, with a focus on
strengthening water planning and policy reform and improving access to water
and sanitation services for the poor.
Chris Kenny (Minister's Office) (02) 6277 7500 or 0419
Jo Elsom (AusAID) (02) 6206 4960 or 0412 804 489
More information is available on the AusAID Budget page