Oxfam responds to Australia’s new International Development Policy 

Foreign aid, Humanitarian Advocacy, Media Releases article written on the 10 Aug 2023

The Australian Government’s new International Development Policy enhances the role of development as a key pillar of foreign policy, however its implementation will require a clearer pathway to funding at levels that meet the growing needs, according to Oxfam Australia. 

The anti-poverty organisation warmly welcomes the policy’s grounding in the Sustainable Development Goals and the focus on poverty alleviation, tackling climate change, and gender equality, along with the commitment to transparency and efficiency demonstrated by the creation of a Performance and Delivery Framework.  

While the centring of climate change as a critical regional challenge is welcome, this recognition must be backed up with the provision of additional climate finance, along with funding for impacts already being felt by developing countries, on top of the aid budget. It will also be important to ensure that the forthcoming humanitarian strategy has a global focus, and targets areas of highest need with increased resources to meet the growing challenges. 


The policy calls out the government’s support for local leadership and organisations, which is in line with a growing global movement – backed by Oxfam – towards supporting communities to tackle their own challenges. Innovations such as the new Civil Society Partnerships Fund will be watched with interest. 


Oxfam Australia also looks forward to seeing the detail that will emerge in the gender, disability inclusion and LGBTIQA+ strategies, as well as how the government and the Ambassador for First Nations People will incorporate the important contributions of Australia’s First Peoples in our development work. 


Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Lyn Morgain emphasised that fundamental to the success of the policy will be a commitment to growing funding. 


“It is pleasing to see this government lay out a roadmap that gives our sector a shared understanding of Australia’s intentions and direction when it comes to our critical work to combat inequality and alleviate poverty,” she said.  


“This policy demonstrates a welcome ambition to tackle these challenges in an intersectional way, which is something we have been calling for – however, increased ambition in one area, such as climate change, must not come at the expense of other critical development work.  

“That’s why these ramped up ambitions must be backed up by commitments to increasing our aid investment as a percentage of our Gross National Income. We currently sit at 27 out of 30 OECD countries in terms of our generosity and investment in Official Development Assistance – we want to see this government improve our international standing with an ultimate target of contributing 0.7% GNI to achieving these worthwhile ambitions.  

“Oxfam supports new revenue measures such as wealth and corporate windfall profit taxes, which offer the twin benefits of addressing inequality and providing a funding source for Official Development Assistance. 

“In turn, the unique threat posed by climate change must be recognised with new and additional funding. We look forward to working closely with the government to ensure we can achieve our ultimate goal of creating an equal future for all.” 

For interviews, contact Lily Partland on 0418 118 687 / lilyp@oxfam.org.au