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Australia’s four year plan to help the world’s poorest

May 9, 2012

Yesterday I announced the introduction of a Comprehensive Aid Policy Framework which will guide the growth of the Australian aid budget over the next four years.

Australia’s commitment to international development efforts is contributing to real results.

Poverty is decreasing in every region of the world, but more remains to be done.

Lifting the last 1.3 billion people out of extreme poverty is even more challenging than achieving the progress of the past 20 years. Many of the people who remain in extreme poverty live in conflict-affected, fragile or remote parts of the world, and are the hardest to reach.

The aid budget is forecast to increase from $4.8 billion in 2011-12 to around $7.7 billion by 2015-16.

In late 2011, the Government committed to developing a Comprehensive Aid Policy Framework.

The release of the Framework sets a new standard for aid predictability and accountability for Australia and its development partners.

The Framework includes forecasts of where Australian aid will be spent over the next four years and the results to be achieved in terms of lives saved, people lifted out of poverty, children educated and vulnerable people provided with life-saving assistance in times of crises.

The Framework highlights that by 2015-16:

• Asia and the Pacific will continue to be our highest priority regions, benefiting from over 70 per cent of Australian aid;
• our 12 largest bilateral aid recipients will all be in Asia and the Pacific – Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Philippines, Bangladesh, East Timor, Pakistan, Cambodia, Burma and Vanuatu;
• over 30 per cent (up from 27 per cent now) of the aid budget will be delivered through partnerships with multilateral organisations, expanding the reach and influence of Australian aid;
• the World Bank Group, Asian Development Bank, World Food Programme and United Nations Children’s Fund will be our most significant multilateral partners;
• 25 per cent of the aid budget will be spent on education assistance given its centrality to the achievement of all the Millennium Development Goals; and
• at least 10 per cent of the aid budget (up from six per cent in 2007) will be delivered through partnerships with non-government organisations.

More aid will translate into more results. For example, by 2015-16, our aid will:

• save lives, by helping to vaccinate more than 10 million poor children against preventable childhood diseases;
• provide one million mothers with access during birth to a skilled birth attendant;
• provide a further 8.5 million people with access to safe water;
• provide a further five million people with access to better sanitation facilities and knowledge of hygiene practices;
• provide life-saving assistance for 30 million vulnerable people in conflict and crisis situations; and
• help a further four million boys and girls to enrol in school and 20 million children to obtain a better quality education.

The Government is making itself accountable for these results, and for higher standards of operational effectiveness.

Progress against the Framework will be assessed in an Annual Review of Aid Effectiveness that I will present to Government each year.

The Review will judge the performance of the aid program against its headline and operational results, covering all government agencies that spend Australian aid overseas, not just AusAID.

The Review will also recommend changes to the four year budget strategy, updated on a rolling basis, as a result of performance or changing circumstances. The first Annual Review of Aid Effectiveness is due by the end of October 2012 and will be made publicly available soon after.

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