Immediate boost to Pacific recovery aid welcomed – Australia

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Australia’s main body for aid NGOs – the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) – has welcomed the Australian government’s decision to increase Australia’s aid budget in 2022-23 to $4.549 billion from $4.335 billion. billion dollars originally estimated in 2021-22, and the announcement of $324.4 million for the Pacific and Timor-Leste to aid in the recovery from COVID-19.

But ACFID is calling on the Australian government to end the temporary nature of some aid measures and make aid growth permanent to reflect growing human needs, instability and the changing geo-strategic environment. regional.

Marc Purcell, CEO of ACFID said:

“We welcome the new aid to the Pacific to combat the COVID-19 crisis. Australia’s support remains vital and this priority investment in Pacific economic recovery is what we need.

“But the development reversals created by COVID-19 will last more than a decade. Our relationship with the Pacific is not temporary – and our funding model must take this into account. Temporary measures and “basic” assistance disrupt our long-term intentions and relationships in the region. This obsolete framework must be abandoned.

“We must continue to increase our investments in quality long-term development programs to improve the livelihoods of people in the region. Building human security on the basis of Pacific priorities is the path to closer cooperation, people-to-people ties and greater stability.

“COVAX’s new allocation to address global vaccine inequity and the recently announced new humanitarian funding for Ukraine are very welcome steps.”

Budget measures in brief

  • $324.4 million economic and social support program over two years for the Pacific and Timor-Leste to help recover from COVID-19;
  • $85 million earmarked for COVAX to address global vaccine inequities; and
  • Spending $65 million on much-needed humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

From this year (2022-23), the government will add 2.5% to what it defines as the “base” aid package. Although this increase is called “indexation”, it is important to note that this figure is lower than the most recent CPI figures of 4.25% in 2021-22 and 3% for 2022-23.

“The government rightly shields the aid program from inflationary pressures. It is good news that this commitment has been kept.

“It is essential that the Australian government dramatically increases development cooperation and humanitarian aid so that we are better equipped for the international tasks ahead.

“We need to invest in education for the next generation, better resilience to disasters, stronger health systems, and initiatives to advance the rights and wellbeing of women and girls, and people with disabilities.

ENDS

Contact

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Notes to Editors

In recent years, the Australian government has added Temporary, Targeted and Supplementary Measures (TTS) to the ‘base’ aid budget.

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