Policy Update

Data reveals extent of shift in Australia's development programming toward COVID-19 response

According to Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), A$280 million (US$193) of Australia's development financing has been diverted toward the global response to COVID-19. This follows the overall shift of the country's development priorities toward the COVID-19 response and recovery, as outlined in its development policy, (released in late May 2020).

Data from the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) provides transparency on A$173 million (US$119 million) of this funding, disbursed by DFAT through 28 programs since the beginning of January 2020. Around 20% was channeled through COVID-19 preparedness and recovery NGO grants in the Pacific and East Timor.

There has also been a significant reclassification of funding committed and disbursed prior to Australia's thematic shift toward COVID-19. In Indonesia for example, the Australia Indonesia Health Security Partnership has seen almost all of its A$39 million (US$27 million) in support dedicated to assisting with the COVID-19 response. A$112 million (US$77 million) in finances disbursed since June 2014 for a humanitarian program in Afghanistan has also now been assigned a 6% sectoral focus on COVID-19.

News article - Devex