Wednesday 26 Sep 2018 | 09:13 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 26 Sep 2018 | 09:13 | SYDNEY

Reader riposte: Where our aid goes

2 April 2012 18:01

Scott Kelleher is Director of AusAID's Media Unit:

I read with interest your 29 February blog, 'Foreign aid advice for the new minister'.

As you know, the Government agreed to 38 of the 39 recommendations made by the Independent Review of Aid Effectiveness and AusAID is making good progress in implementing them. Over the past six months, 27 recommendations have been completed.

You say that the pace of the program’s expansion in Latin America and the Caribbean has continued despite the aid review recommendations. This is not correct. Australia committed to providing $100 million in Official Development Assistance to Latin America and $60 million to the Caribbean over four years in 2010-11. The combined total in 2011-12 is less than one per cent of the total Australian aid budget. The budget for the subsequent funding period has yet to be announced. In line with the aid review's recommendations, the Asia-Pacific region will remain the focus of the aid program. Decisions about future country allocations are being based on poverty, national interest, our capacity to make a difference and effectiveness.

Australia's aid to Latin America and the Caribbean has nothing to do with the government's bid for a United Nations Security Council seat. Nor was the government's decision to provide urgent and much-needed humanitarian support to Libya in 2011. The government has not asked AusAID to allocate aid according to the Security Council voting intentions, nor have partner countries asked for aid in return for votes.

As to 'genuinely transparent and publicly accessible monitoring', in November 2011, we launched a new Transparency Charter which makes Australia one of the most transparent donors in the world and sets out our commitment, at all times, to be upfront about our aid activities by making information publicly available. You can find this information on our transparency pages on AusAID's website.