Foreign aid

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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…
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…

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