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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…
Many G20 members have now pledged contributions to the Green Climate Fund, but Australia has signalled it will not. PR handout/AAP

UN Green Climate Fund: it’s time for Australia to step up

The G20 summit in Brisbane has put the pressure on Australia to boost its action on climate change not just at home but also internationally through a new UN-backed fund. The summit yielded major pledges…
Media reporting on the costs of Australia’s Security Council bid has overlooked several significant issues. EPA/Andrew Gombert

Did aid ‘buy’ African votes for Australia’s Security Council seat?

In the lead-up to Australia’s election to the United Nations Security Council in 2012, much of the media focused on the costs and value of the campaign. In particular, it was claimed Australia “bought…
“I mean, I don’t like to blow my own trumpet, but…” Chris Ison/PA Archive

Tory coyness underplays UK’s world-leading aid performance

International development secretary Justine Greening’s speech at the Conservative Party conference was a safe one. Recognising that many of the audience have criticised the need for the UK’s aid programme…
While many poor people in Indonesia and elsewhere lack clean water sources, research has challenged long-held assumptions about the best aid approach to this problem. Wikimedia Commons

Based on what evidence? Ensuring aid works in ASEAN and elsewhere

Despite cuts to future aid spending since the Abbott government assumed office, the level of aid to Southeast Asia remains largely unchanged. What is in doubt is the space and the mechanisms for research…
There is scant evidence that ‘aid for trade’ programs have any impact on lifting the poorest people globally out of poverty. EPA/Yahya Arhab

Does ‘aid for trade’ really help reduce poverty?

Even before assuming office, foreign minister Julie Bishop was clear on the Coalition’s approach to foreign aid: “aid for trade” was touted as the primary strategy of the Coalition’s aid program. Last…
Three in four Australians see aid to help the world’s most vulnerable poor as a simple human priority. Their government has a different view of the aid program. Julien Harneis/Flickr

Why not cut aid? Let us count the ethical reasons, just for a start

Major changes have been made recently to Australia’s official aid program. Funding has been cut sharply. Australia’s aid agency AusAID has been absorbed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and…
Australia’s new foreign aid priorities and level of funding suggests we are now failing in our moral obligation to help the most vulnerable overseas. AAP/Department of Defence

Budget exploits our indifference to the suffering of foreigners

While the Abbott government’s first budget has been widely criticised for its aggressive cost-cutting measures, the largest single reduction – a A$7.6 billion cut to Australia’s Official Development Assistance…
Treasurer Joe Hockey and finance minister Mathias Cormann face a difficult sell for the Abbott government’s tough first budget. AAP/Alan Porritt

Federal budget 2014: political experts react

The Abbott government is hoping an A$11.6 billion infrastructure spending package, combined with a $20 billion medical research fund, will help soften the blow of widespread tightening of health and welfare…
Glimpses of horror: while the West watches, Syria burns. SIcco2007

Syrians suffer as world plays politics with humanitarian aid

The humanitarian crisis in Syria is no longer news. It is simple fact: tragedy writ large, as cities burn and lives are ruined. Our eyes may widen at the sheer scale of this destruction: four million people…
Right twice a day - but not this time. Steve Parsons/PA

The Daily Mail’s petition gets international aid wrong

The Daily Mail has launched a petition which strongly urges prime minister David Cameron to “divert some of the £11 billion a year spent on overseas aid to ease the suffering of British flood victims…
Australia made a generous contribution to the relief effort in the Philippines, but has significantly reduced humanitarian and emergency response funding for 2013-14. DFAT

Australia’s foreign aid program: a post-surgical stocktake

The Coalition government’s changes to Australia’s foreign aid budget for 2013-14 were finally confirmed in January by means of a rudimentary spreadsheet. This showed A$650 million in cuts at the level…
What we know from other disasters is that infectious disease outbreaks aren’t inevitable. AAP/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

How best to help the Philippines recover from Typhoon Haiyan

Once again, a cataclysmic disaster has hit an Asian nation. But a well co-ordinated aid response mindful of lessons from other disasters could mean a faster recovery. Last Friday, Typhoon Haiyan (known…
Increased levels of Australian aid to Africa demonstrates the positive effects aid can have on a region. EPA/Kate Holt

Why is Australian foreign aid so important?

For politicians subject to democratic accountability in today’s media-soaked world, two issues are particularly difficult to deal with. One is the future and the other is global development. More often…
West Papuan refugee Amos Wainggai is on board the Freedom Flotilla, headed for Papuan shores from Australia. What will it mean for our relations with Indonesia? AAP/Cleo Mary Fraser

What will the West Papua flotilla mean for Australia-Indonesia relations?

Given the extreme sensitivity with which the issue of West Papua is viewed in Indonesia, the “Freedom Flotilla” heading from Australia to the Indonesian-controlled territory is sure to create tension…
Well-targeted aid to countries in need is not just an act of generosity but an essential investment in our future. AAP

Foreign aid, like roads, is an investment

As Australians head to the ballot box we are consumed with issues that are necessarily defined by national borders. However, as Australia takes up the presidency of the Security Council and attends the…
Australia’s foreign aid commitments play an integral role in the nation’s ‘soft power’ and regional security. Marion Doss

Why soft power is so hard: the impact of aid cuts on regional security

Amidst the controversy over Julie Bishop’s Guardian interview earlier this week, many of the interesting facts about foreign policy under a putative Coalition government were lost. Notably, the opposition’s…

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