Major changes have been made recently to Australia’s official aid program. Funding has been cut sharply. Australia’s aid agency AusAID has been absorbed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and no longer exists as a separate entity, reducing the autonomy of the aid program.
New statements of the main objectives of the aid program have removed the clear primacy formerly given to poverty reduction and put more emphasis on Australia’s national interests and economic growth.
In this context, it is important to remind ourselves that overseas aid is an ethical issue, not just a matter of politics or policy. There are a number of strong ethical reasons to support international aid, and in particular aid focused directly on poverty reduction.