As Australia increases budget for COVID-19 reponse in Pacific, funding to other regions suffers

The Australian budget, delivered on Tuesday evening, included the first increase in development assistance since the Liberal-National Party Coalition took power in 2013.

The government announced an additional A$305 million (US$219 million) over two years for a COVID-19 Response Package for the Pacific and Timor Leste. For unexplained reasons, this is not treated as additional official development assistance, and the official Australian development assistance budget remains at the target level of A$4.0 billion (US$2.9 billion). Professor Stephen Howes of the Australian National University indicated that the budget for other regions has been cut sharply, including a reduction of 48% to sub-Saharan Africa.

Press release - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Blog - Development Policy Centre, Australian National University