Australians rule out boomerang aid

On the day the Australian Government begins the creation of a new international development policy, the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) has released polling showing that the Australian public want it to serve the poorest people.

In a nationally representative YouGov poll commissioned by ACFID, 59% of people said Australia’s international aid to poor countries should primarily serve the poorest people and those most in need, rather than 34% who said it should primarily serve Australia’s interests. Just 7% said they didn’t know.

Responding to the poll, CEO of ACFID Marc Purcell said:

“Prioritising the poorest and most marginalised people should be the foundation stone of the Australian Government’s assistance to our neighbours. It’s the right thing to do and it’s how our assistance derives legitimacy.

“The Australian people have a long tradition of helping the most vulnerable and giving everyone a fair-go. This should be mirrored in the purpose of the Government’s new policy.

“Building peaceful and stable countries starts with improving the well-being of the poorest. Setting a target for our assistance to reach the bottom 40% of people by income in poor countries would allow the Government to assess and communicate impact against a measurement the public want to see.

“By taking this approach, we can help build a more open, peaceful and stable region from the ground-up. This is the way to build long-term development impact and create a world in which our partners and Australia can thrive.”

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