Australia’s aid generosity remains low, reveals OECD figures

Campaigns and Advocacy, Foreign aid, Media Releases article written on the 13 Apr 2023

Today, the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD DAC) published its preliminary figures on the amount of development aid for 2022.

The data shows that overall aid spending from 30 OECD members summed 204 billion US dollars in 2022. Rich countries only committed 0.36 percent of their gross national income (GNI) to development aid – up from 0.33 percent in 2021, but far below the 0.7 percent they promised in 1970. In 2022, just 5 countries – Luxembourg, Norway, Germany, Sweden and Denmark – lived up to this promise.

Australia now sits at 27 out of 30 OECD DAC donors on aid generosity and has the lowest aid generosity of its AUKUS partners.

A recent YouGov poll conducted for the Help Fight Famine campaign found a growing majority of Australians — 60 per cent — back the federal government funding overseas aid to developing countries, despite the rising cost of living at home. Support has risen from 57 per cent in 2021 and 52 per cent in 2019.

In response, Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Lyn Morgain, said:

“The Australian government’s commitment of an extra $1.4 billion over four years for aid in the 2022 federal budget was a step in the right direction, but there is a responsibility to do more. Australia’s aid budget is at 0.22% GNI, well below the 0.7% target agreed by wealthy countries and the Labor Party Platform goal of 0.5%.

“Australia’s strong regional engagement and diplomatic efforts over the past year are welcome signs of renewal in our foreign policy and this must be backed up with enhanced investment in vital development and humanitarian assistance.”

“With the hunger crisis in East Africa, climate change fuelled disasters and the cost-of-living crisis, the need for Australia to step up our support to the world’s poorest people has never been greater.”

“There is no room for excuses. We can’t allow rich countries to argue their pockets are empty. Donor governments could raise over a trillion dollars annually through a modest wealth tax alone. The only thing lacking is the political will to put the poorest before the rich.”

For interviews, contact Lucy Brown on 0478 190 099/