Foreign aid

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China’s President Xi Jinping on a state visit to Zimbabwe. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

How and why China became Africa’s biggest aid donor

The increasing importance of non-traditional donors such as China has meant that the economic and political stronghold of Western countries in sub-Sahara Africa has gradually ebbed.
The Coalition government has moved to rapidly alter the balance of Australia’s foreign policy spending. AAP/Rashida Yosufzai

Ideas for Australia: Sold short – Australia’s aid cuts have foreign policy consequences

A reduced aid budget equates to the forsaking of real opportunities in foreign policy terms. In the long term, this could make the savings look miniscule compared to opportunity costs.
Differential treatment between international and local aid workers may undermine international aid programs. lculig/www.shutterstock.com

Mind the gap in local and international aid workers' salaries

In the humanitarian aid and development sector, local staff are paid less and receive fewer benefits than their expatriate colleagues, even when they do similar work and have similar qualifications.
The Abbott government’s instinct on foreign policy is to approach it through the lens of domestic politics. AAP/Lukas Coch

Global pressures expose the limits of Australian foreign policy

The pressure the Abbott government faced over the Syrian refugee crisis hints at a broader trend. Global political dynamics are now exposing a credibility deficit in Australian foreign policy.
AAP/Dean Lewins

Being a good international citizen

With the possible exception of North Korea, there aren’t too many countries that don’t like to think of themselves as “good international citizens”. For states such as Australia, it’s ostensibly one of…
It takes time, but this is how a real consensus is built. EPA/NIELS AHLMANN OLESEN/AAP

We need real consensus, not Bjorn Lomborg’s illusion of it

There is a way for governments to find out the consensus on global issues such as climate change. But it involves painstaking, complex work, and an end to the adversarial clash of competing ideologies.
President Joko Widodo is not crying over cuts to Australian aid for Indonesia. AAP Image/Eka Nickmatulhuda

How will a 40% cut in Australian aid affect Indonesia?

Australia has cut aid to Indonesia by 40%. That may cause diplomatic displeasure, but the country has restructured its development programs in recent years to be less dependent on foreign money.
Australian aid can make a difference to the lives of millions – but there are few votes and little media interest in it, so it’s an easy target for budget cuts. John Bransby/Department of Foreign Affairs

A fair budget? Not for the poor losing Australian aid in record cuts

Foreign aid will fall to close to 90 cents in every A$100 of federal government spending in the 2015 budget -- its lowest level ever.
Australian moral philosopher Peter Singer is a strong advocate of effective altruism, and has written a book on the movement called The Most Good You Can Do. Birkbeck Media Services/flickr

Speaking with: Peter Singer on effective altruism

Australians donate around A$2.4 billion to charity each year, but how many lives does that impact? Effective altruism is a social movement focused on maximising the impact of your donated time and money.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop made headlines face palming and rolling her eyes during a speech by Treasurer Joe Hockey. YouTube

Abbott gets poll relief as Coalition narrows the gap

The Coalition has had a substantial lift in the latest Newspoll, now trailing Labor in two-party terms 49-51% compared with 45-55% a fortnight ago. This is its best two-party result since September. The…
Australian has moved swiftly to fly relief aid and personnel to Vanuatu but has been less responsive to Pacific Islanders' pleas to act on climate change. AAP/Dave Hunt

Vanuatu disaster exposes limits of Australian internationalism

While Australia’s leaders express concern for the people of Vanuatu, the welfare of poor states is a commitment from which Australia is walking away.

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