The 2019–20 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) budget contains few surprises for Australia’s aid program. In 2019–20 total aid expenditure is estimated to be $4.04 billion, a fall of around $117 million from last year’s $4.16 billion estimate, and the sixth consecutive year that the aid budget has been cut in real terms. Over the forward estimates, ODA is anticipated to remain at around $4 billion until indexing of the aid budget in line with inflation recommences in 2022–23.

As indicated in this guide, under the present government aid as a proportion of gross national income (GNI)—a long-standing measure used to rank OECD donors—has fallen considerably, from 0.32 per cent in 2014–15 (or $5.1 billion) to an estimated 0.21 per cent of GNI in 2019–20 ($4 billion). After inflation, the ANU’s Development Policy Centre estimates that aid has been cut by 27 per cent since the last Labor Budget of 2012–13.

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