Wealthy nations like Australia give overseas aid to developing countries to help them overcome extreme poverty. The Australian Government provides aid assistance to 75 countries. The most money goes to our nearest neighbours – Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, East Timor and the Pacific Islands – but also to South Asia, Africa, and parts of the Middle East. This assistance is provided in a number of ways:
- Direct to developing country governments.
- Through international organisations such as the World Bank or World Health Organisation.
- Through Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) like World Vision.
In 2013-14, the Australian Government will give $5.042 billion in aid. That is about the equivalent of one cup of coffee per week, per Australian.
Australian aid makes a difference
World Vision estimates that in 2011/12 Australian aid alone:
- Saved the lives of at least 200,000 people.
- Helped provide basic education for 500,000 children and improved education quality for many more.
- Trained thousands of public servants to improve their management of budgets and the services they offer their communities.
- Assisted at least 10 million people affected by disasters.
- Helped 440,000 people gain access to clean water and 400,000 people to access adequate sanitation.
Globally, aid makes a difference
If you combine the Australian Government’s aid efforts with that of governments and charities around the world, you can see that aid has made a vast difference in people’s lives. Globally, aid has:
- Contributed to preventing 45 million child deaths since 1990.
- Helped an additional 40 million children receive a basic education.
- Provided access to improved water sources for an additional 1.8 billion people.
Aid has also contributed to a dramatic fall in global deaths from HIV/AIDS, and contributed to gains in fighting malaria and tuberculosis. Aid is one of the best investments wealthy countries like Australia can make in the fight against global poverty.