Foreign aid

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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.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s call for Indonesia to ‘reciprocate’ revealed the ugly side of Australian aid: politics. AAP/Lukas Coch

What do Indonesia and Australia expect and get from aid?

Australian aid to Indonesia, both in the form of loans and grants, is not independent of its political and economic interests.
The killing of polio workers in Pakistan by the Taliban is a tragic illustration of why no development program can ignore the political problems associated with poverty. EPA/Arshad Arbab

Gates Foundation is too big to ignore the politics of poverty

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s 2015 annual letter outlines their vision for global development and poverty reduction. The letter outlines four areas where they expect breakthroughs over the next…
A$1.8 billion is no longer available to help populations in our neighbouring countries achieve a decent standard of health. Gates Foundation/Flickr

How cuts to foreign aid will reduce health care in the region

The federal government’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook announcement this week to cut the foreign aid budget by a further A$3.7 billion over three years is unprecedented. The current government has…

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