Make Poverty History Report Targets G-20
20 November 2006 at 11:28 am
The G-20 Forum hosted in Melbourne recently turned the spotlight on foreign aid and brought out community activism in all shapes and sizes. The Not for Profit sector took a leading role to promote the Make Poverty History campaign.
A new report released just in time for the G-20 Finance Forum in Melbourne claims that Australia is the least generous contributor to overseas aid among the G-20 participating countries.
As part of the Make Poverty History campaign, and involving 60 Australian aid agencies, community groups and church groups, the report shows all G-20 countries apart from Australia, have increased their overseas aid since 2000.
The G20 forum was a meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors from the world’s largest economies. It aims were to encourage member countries, which account for two-thirds of the world’s population, to increase aid to nations in poverty.
The report, by Simon Feeny and Matthew Clarke examines in particular the percentage of gross national income (GNI) that member countries have recently spent on overseas development aid.
Called ‘Is the G20 Making Poverty History?’ the study also reviews the record of overseas aid by the wealthy countries across a range of other criteria.
The report reveals that Australia and Japan are the least generous of all G20 countries. Australia’s aid spending fell to 0.25 per cent of GNI between 2000 and 2005.
The most generous donors are France and Britain which spent 0.47 and 0.48 per cent respectively.
Australia foreign is around $3000 million. However Federal Treasurer Peter Costello says the government will commit to increasing that amount to $4000 million by 2010.
The report also argued that if Australia granted bilateral debt relief to the Philippines and Indonesia, it could save more than 20,000 children’s lives in Indonesia and 1000 in the Philippines.