Aid and development policy

Jubilee Australia's Resource Centre

Aid is supposed to support development and poverty alleviation. It has long been the case that aid has been used for other purposes, but recent decisions by the government have made the situation worse. The Australian aid program is now evolving in worrying new directions.

Since 2013, there has been a new emphasis of the use of the private sector to deliver aid, premised upon the claim that economic growth the best way to address poverty even though there is a mass of evidence now that GDP growth does not necessarily equate to a reduction in poverty.

In recent years the Australian Government has used the aid budget and other levers of government policy to push an extractives-led development model on resource-rich poor countries in our region and across the world. For example, Australian aid to Bougainville has funded a range of advisers and experts supporting mining negotiations, legislative drafting, and policy development. The result is that Australian aid money is used to build legal and regulatory regimes that favour large scale resource extraction while at the same time undermining the rights of local communities.

See our Devil in the Detail report for more details