Still on topic. Came across this article.
Labor put Australia among the top ten foreign aid givers worldwide.
on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 in an interview with ABC 666 radio
Australia’s agreement to send asylum seekers to Papua New Guinea will entail an unspecified amount of aid and development dollars. There’s a separate debate to be had about how that money might be spent.
The issue of foreign aid is a testy one at the best of times. On the left, the claim is often made that Australia needs to lift its game and give more. On the far right, there is often lingering resentment that Australia sends money offshore while some citizens struggle at home.
Speaking to ABC radio on Tuesday, Labor’s Andrew Leigh was keen to talk up the government’s record: "We’re now a top ten foreign aid giver around the world. [This] happened under a Labor government."
We contacted Leigh and he referred us to a media release from the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Bob Carr:
"The Gillard Government will increase Australia's Official Development Assistance (ODA) to a record $5.7 billion in 2013-14. This is an increase of $513.4 million on 2012-13 and brings the aid budget to 0.37 per cent of gross national income (GNI)."
He also referred us to page 30 of the 2012-13 Budget Overview, which said:
"Australia's projected ODA contribution could see Australia rank as high as sixth in the OECD's ODA donor ranking by 2015 16, up from tenth in 2011."
We checked these figures against the OECD’s official aid statistics. In 2008, we gave US$4.07b, which ranked us 12/24 donor countries in terms of dollars spent. In 2012, that increased to $5.44b, and our rank improved to 8/24, bringing us into the top 10 as Leigh suggested. Whether we end up ranking 6th in 2015/16 will depend on what other countries do with their aid budgets.
Of course, Leigh’s critics would look past the dollar value of the aid and focus on our aid budget as a share of gross national income (GNI). That’s where things get a little less rosy for the government.
Labor wants aid spending to reach 0.5 per cent of GNI. It promised to reach this target in 2015/16, but the 2012/13 budget deferred this by one year. The 2013/14 budget deferred it by an additional year, meaning it won’t be reached until 2017/18.
The United Nations wants rich countries to give 0.7 per cent of GNI as foreign aid. Only five countries currently do so – a rather unsurprising rollcall of Luxembourg, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and The Netherlands.
In 2012, Australia gave 0.36 per cent of GNI, which ranked us 13/24. The average country effort in that year was 0.43 per cent.
It should be noted, nonetheless, that in 2012 Australia increased its development aid by 9.1 per cent, in a year when global aid fell by four per cent in real terms.