At a glance
Strategic priorities
  • Australia’s development strategy aims to “promote national interest by contributing to sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction” across six areas: 1) infrastructure and trade; 2) agriculture, fisheries, and water; 3) effective governance; 4) education and health; 5) building resilience; and 6) gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
  • Australia continues to focus on providing ODA to neighboring countries in the Indo-Pacific region through bilateral channels. Australia plans to continue spending at least 90% of its ODA on countries in this region, while scaling back its development budget in other geographic regions.
  • Australia is particularly increasing its assistance to countries in the South Pacific, including Papua New Guinea and Timor Leste. Development assistance programs to Asia have been further reduced in the 2019-20 budget.

For further details on methodology, see our Donor Tracker Codebook.

Outlook
  • The ‘Health Security Initiative for the Indo-Pacific Region’ was launched by the Minister for Foreign Affairs in 2017, pledging A$300 million (US$230 million) over five years for research into prevention and containment of emerging infectious diseases.
  • Australia launched a A$20 billion (US$15 billion) non-ODA perpetual fund for academic health research, the Medical Research Future Fund, in 2014. A small proportion of annual spending is to go to research into diseases affecting developing countries, including antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and health security.
  • In November 2018, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced plans to strengthen engagement with the Pacific region, including through greater military support, ‘sports-for-development’ programs, and the establishment of a A$2 billion (US$1.5 billion) Infrastructure Financing Facility comprising ODA grants and loans.  The Government has passed legislation to allow its agency Export Finance Australia to manage loans for developmental purposes in conjunction with DFAT.