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ACFID calls for a May budget which recognises development as a key tool of statecraft

The Australian Council for International Development < 1 mins read

Media release | Friday, 22 March 2024

In response to the $4.6 billion pledge to prop up the AUKUS deal and clear the United Kingdom’s “nuclear reactor bottlenecks” in the last 24 hours, the peak body for Australian development and humanitarian organisations, the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), is calling on the Australian Government to reconcile its Labor National Policy Platform commitment to "increase aid as a percentage of Gross National Income every year" with real action in the May budget. 

“Australia’s current ambitions to act on the world stage are significant as a potential host to COP 31 and holding a seat on the United Nations Security Council. Yet, this level of spending simply is not sufficient to match the desire to be taken seriously as a global leader with this capacity,” CEO Marc Purcell said.

“This AUKUS spend makes it clear that funds can be found where the Government feels its priorities lie. Our development assistance budget has never been a more critical part of our international engagement strategy. Government spending choices must reflect this.

“Despite the stabilization of funding by the government, Australia's aid budget is set to flatline in real terms from 2026.

“In light of the compounding humanitarian crises occurring across the globe, on behalf of the sector, ACFID is calling for the Australian Government to double the Humanitarian Emergency Fund to $300 million and for an extra $350 million per year to protracted crises.”

In early May 2022, the now Minister for International Development and the Pacific, the Hon Pat Conroy MP, committed his government to ensuring that the “development spend will increase each and every year.” 

Australian aid is the lowest of AUKUS partners and Five-Eyes partners.

For more information, contact Georgie Moore 0477 779 928

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