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.
  • If the upcoming election sees a change in government, the opposition Labor Party has indicated it will focus development cooperation more on health and education.

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

Key opportunities
  • 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.