Australia's aid expenditure for the financial year 2012/13 will be a record $5.2 billion - $300 million more than the previous year, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Bob Carr said today.
Senator Carr said this contradicts some reports the aid budget has been cut.
Senator Carr said that even for a big aid budget like Australia's there are always competing priorities that must be considered.
Supporting refugees and potential refugees around the world is a regular part of Australia's aid effort.
It is what we do when we provide assistance for refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Sudan when people flee from violence or natural disasters.
And it is what we do when refugees are in our region or in our country.
This year we will report up to $375 million for basic subsistence for refugees waiting to have their claims heard in Australia.
This will cover food, shelter and other essential items.
It is legitimate aid delivered in accordance with OECD guidelines and is consistent with the practice of other OECD countries including the United States ($895 million in 2010); France ($435 million in 2010); Sweden ($397 million in 2010); Netherlands ($339 million in 2010); Norway ($335 million in 2010); and Canada ($284 million in 2010).
- Minister's Office: (02) 6277 7500
- Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555
- AusAID Media: 0417 680 590