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Australia's Aid Budget 2001-02

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News, speeches and media

Media Release

MEDIA RELEASE

I am pleased to announce that Australia will provide $1.725 billion as
Official Development Assistance (ODA) in 2001-02, an increase of approximately
$125 million over the 2000-01 budget figure and a real increase of more than 6
per cent. This is an ODA/GNP ratio of 0.25 per cent, well above the latest
(2000) donor average of 0.22 per cent.

ODA represents only one part of the Australian Government's assistance to
developing countries. Australia's total effort includes other official flows and
generous tax deductions for contributions from the Australian people to
non-government organisations providing overseas aid. When these other flows and
deductions are taken into account, the Australian Government's total assistance
to developing countries stands at around $2.75 billion, which is 0.40 per cent
of GNP.

The aid program will continue to advance Australia's national interest by
assisting developing countries to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable
development. Our neighbours in Asia and the South Pacific will remain the focus
of our development efforts. As a strong and stable nation, Australia is
committed to promoting regional stability and prosperity. The aid program will
continue to have a vital role in demonstrating that commitment and responding
effectively to the development challenges and opportunities of social and
economic changes in the Asia Pacific region.

AID BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS

  • Australia's commitment to the nations of the South Pacific will be further
    strengthened. Total aid flows will increase to around $165 million, including
    an increase to $20 million for the Pacific Policy and Management Reform
    program to support economic and public sector reform, and peace and nation
    building programs.
  • Australia's $300 million aid program will continue to help Papua New
    Guinea meet its considerable development challenges, sustain the momentum for
    economic and public sector reform and consolidate peace and development in
    Bougainville.
  • Total aid flows to East Asia are estimated to be around $552 million, with
    an emphasis across the region on supporting sustainable economic recovery and
    intensification of reform efforts.
    • Total flows of $121.5 million to Indonesia demonstrate Australia's
      continuing strong commitment to helping secure Indonesia's future as a
      democratic, prosperous and stable nation.
    • As East Timor moves towards independence, Australia's aid budget
      commitment of $150 million over four years is helping develop East Timorese
      capacity to govern a democratic and stable nation, and deliver basic
      services.
  • A study is examining the opportunities presented by information and
    communication technologies to improve education and access to knowledge in
    developing countries.
  • Implementation of the $200 million HIV/AIDS initiative will continue, with
    a focus on securing strong international political leadership and commitment
    to action. Iwill host a regional ministerial meeting on HIV/AIDS in
    Melbourne in October 2001.
  • In appreciation of the magnificent contribution of volunteers and
    recognition of 2001 as the International Year of Volunteers, the Government
    pledges $60 million over the next three years to overseas volunteer
    activities. This builds on support for the highly successful Australian Youth
    Ambassadors for Development Program and other volunteer organisations.
  • The Government has made a strong commitment to Rotary International, in
    partnership with the World Health Organisation, UNICEF and the US Center for
    Disease Control, to help eradicate polio from the world by 2005. The
    Government will match Australian corporate private sector contributions on a
    dollar for dollar basis up to $10 million over 2001-05.
  • The aid program will continue to implement practical activities in support
    of human rights, including through an increase to $1.6 million for the Human
    Rights Fund.
  • OTHER FEATURES

    Beyond East Asia and the South Pacific, total flows to Africa, the Middle
    East and South Asia will be maintained in real terms. Within the overall total
    flows of $9.9 million to the Middle East, assistance will be provided to
    Palestinian Territories and Palestinian refugees throughout the region.

    As in past years, natural disasters and conflicts will continue to cause
    immense suffering. The aid program will maintain the capacity for rapid,
    effective and flexible responses to emergency and humanitarian crises in the
    Asia Pacific region and other parts of the world.

    NGOs continue to be an effective way to deliver aid and emergency relief to
    developing countries. In recognition of this, the Australian Government will
    provide an estimated $115.6 million total flows through NGOs in 2001-02.

    Australia will continue to play its part in providing debt relief, completing
    our three year $35 million contribution to the IMF/World Bank Heavily Indebted
    Poor Countries initiative. Australia's total contribution to HIPC will be $55
    million in nominal terms. In line with the Government's pledge to provide 100
    per cent bilateral debt forgiveness to countries that qualify for debt relief
    under HIPC, Nicaragua will not be making repayments on its outstanding debt to
    Australia, following the country's qualification for interim debt relief under
    the HIPC Initiative. Following its cease-fire with Eritrea, Ethiopia is again
    being considered for debt relief and is expected to qualify under the enhanced
    HIPC Initiative in the near future. All Ethiopia's debt to Australia will be
    forgiven when it qualifies for HIPC relief.

    Media inquiries:
    Matt Francis (Ministerial) 02 6277 7500
    Fionna Douglas (AusAID) 02 6206 4960

Last Updated: 25 February 2013
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