Part A: SDGs

Australia and the SDGs

The SDGs developed by the UN now guide the Australian aid program, which is administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).  The Australian government currently provides approximately $4 billion in development assistance each year.   In keeping with the SDGs, Australian aid is delivered to assist countries with development in many areas, including infrastructure, agriculture, effective governance, education, health, disaster risk reduction and gender equality.   In the 2017-2018 financial year, the eight countries receiving the highest amount of Australian assistance were, in order:

Eight countries receiving most Australian ODA

Budget Estimate
Country 2017-2018
Papua New Guinea $472.9 million
Indonesia $269 million
Solomon Islands $92.7 million
Afghanistan $80 million
Timor Leste $68 million
Phillipines $67 million
Cambodia $62.4 million
Vietnam $58.4 million
(Based on 2017-18 budget estimate update)

  1. Why do you think that the Australian Government has chosen to provide significant development assistance to each of these eight countries?  Use an atlas, research and use your knowledge to answer this question.

  2. According to DFAT, the purpose of the aid program is: promoting Australia's national interests by contributing to sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction.

    • In what ways might international aid promote Australia's national interest?
    • Should national interest be a major consideration in where and how Australia delivers aid? Why or why not?
    List the pluses, minuses and interesting aspects of this approach.

The Government is not the only contributor to foreign aid. In 2016, the Australian Council for International Development claimed that 1.5 million Australians actively donate to aid and development charities. There are numerous such charities, or non-government organisations, including Care, Oxfam, Save the Children and World Vision and together they contribute approximately $1.5 billion to overseas aid each year. You can help too!