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The Australian aid budget has doubled in the past decade, but with the change of government in September, this
unprecedented growth has now been brought to a grinding halt. While the Coalition has committed to keep aid around the $5 billion mark in real terms, it remains to be seen whether this commitment will survive the budget process. There are also still many unanswered questions on which sectors may be affected and which countries will be the winners and losers in any reprioritisation. What new programs will emerge to fit the government’s focus on aid for trade and economic diplomacy? How will the aid budget look now that AusAID has been deeply integrated into the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade? What will happen to climate change programs? How will multilaterals and NGOs fare?
From the macro context to sectoral allocations, the second annual aid budget breakfast was the place to be to get up to speed on what the 2014 budget means for Australian aid.
Stephen Howes and colleagues from the Development Policy Centre discussed aid volumes, allocations and policies.
Anthony Swan, Research Fellow at the Development Policy Centre analysed the macro and fiscal context.
Joanna Lindner, ACFID’s head of Policy, Aid & Development Effectiveness and Mel Dunn, Vice President, International Development, URS, and Chair, IDC Australia, provided their perspectives.
This forum was presented by the Development Policy Centre at Crawford School of Public Policy at The Australian National University.