The Turnbull government’s decision to keep a “foot on the throat” of the foreign aid budget has been branded as narrow-minded and selfish and contrasts with a major boost by New Zealand.
Tuesday’s federal budget siphons off $141.1 million over the next four years. Aid will total $4.2 billion this financial year.
The aid budget is expected to hit an all-time low – 19 cents in every $100 of gross national income by 2021-22.
The most recent raid follows more than $11 billion worth of cuts since the coalition government came to power.
Aid groups have contrasted ‘s lack of generosity to the $667 million aid boost the New Zealand government announced on Tuesday aimed at Pacific island countries.
“Many ns will feel a sense of shame that we are going in the opposite direction,” The Fred Hollows Foundation chief executive Ian Wishart said.
n is cutting assistance to Cambodia and Indonesia.
Indonesia is outgrowing foreign aid with a growing middle class and its economy on the cusp of going gangbusters.
The Indonesian aid budget will decrease by $30 million to $266 million this financial year.
Cambodia’s $6.3 million reduction to $56.1 million in assistance is possibly attributed to its spiral into an authoritarian regime.
Last year the Khmer government banned the opposition party, locked up the opposition leader and forced a newspaper to close.
But Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands are both receiving an aid boost.
Port Moresby will be allocated an extra $46.6 million, taking its assistance to $519.5 million this financial year, while Honiara receives an extra $53.4 million with its aid budget tracking to $146.1 million.
This is because an unspecified amount of cash for an undersea communications cable between and the two Pacific countries will partly come from the aid budget.
East Timor will receive $5 million more support in the form of a police training program, bringing its support to $73 million this financial year.
CARE warned it will be forced to scale back projects.
“This is a selfish decision,” chief executive Sally Moyle told reporters in Canberra.
The peak aid agency, the n Council for International Development, said a $10 million boost to humanitarian spending was falling short because of the increase of climate change-related disasters.
Chief executive Marc Purcell said despite concerns about China’s rising influence in the Pacific region, was failing to show leadership.
There was recent speculation Beijing was angling to set up a military base in Vanuatu.
Plan pointed out there was $25 million for a Captain Cook statue at time when millions were on the cusp of starvation in eastern Africa.