Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd today announced reforms to Australia’s aid program to ensure it is strategic, more transparent and gets real results.
“The Government is determined to ensure every aid dollar makes a real difference to the lives of the world’s poorest people. These are the most far-reaching changes to the aid program in more than a decade.”
Making a real difference — delivering real results outlines the Government’s response to the Independent Review of Aid Effectiveness. This was the first independent review of Australian aid since 1996.
“I commissioned this Independent Review to focus on aid effectiveness, take a comprehensive look at the management and quality of Australia’s aid, and to give direction to the future of our aid program,” Mr Rudd said.
The Government has welcomed the findings of the Independent Review and has agreed (or agreed in principle) to 38 of 39 of its recommendations.
“Building on the findings of the Independent Review, the Government will make effectiveness the cornerstone of the aid program,” Mr Rudd said.
“This will be an enduring effort — increasing aid effectiveness is a major objective and will require determination and persistence.”
Decisive action will be taken when aid programs are found not be performing. The transparency of the aid program will be strengthened through a new Transparency Charter, under which accurate and up-to-date results on all aid programs will be published.
The Government has also adopted the Independent Review’s recommendation that the fundamental purpose of the aid program is to help people overcome poverty. It has agreed clear strategic goals for the program which will be implemented through a four year rolling strategy.
“In addition, we will provide more opportunities for Australians to become involved with the aid program, including more volunteers and closer links with business and community groups.”
Mr Rudd said Australia would continue to focus its aid efforts on our close neighbours in the Asia-Pacific region, with Indonesia and Papua New Guinea remaining our largest programs.
For more information on the Government’s response to Independent Review of Aid Effectiveness visit www.ausaid.gov.au.
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