New development policy a welcome step, in a longer journey

ByCARE Australia August 8, 2023 0 comments

Delivering the new aid policy requires a new aid architecture, says CARE Australia

CARE Australia has today welcomed the Federal Government’s new international development policy as a long-awaited step forward for Australia’s aid program. But the aid agency says the government must do more to immediately meet growing humanitarian needs, driven in large part by the impacts of the climate crisis.

CARE Australia chief executive Peter Walton said that while the new policy was a positive reset, a number of question marks remain over the ability of those in our region to confront the lived reality of the climate crisis and the commitment of Australian Aid to women and girls beyond our immediate region.

“At first glance, we welcome many of the commitments in this new policy. The stated commitment to putting local organisations and voices in the driving seat, with less risk aversion to allow for more innovation, is truly welcome,” Mr Walton said.

“But with this new policy ambition comes the need for a new architecture too; if we are to see these commitments realised in practice.

“We have been particularly vocal around the need for a shift towards genuine locally-led aid, so we look forward to better understanding how this will be realised through a new Civil Society Partnerships Fund.

“We are, however, concerned that there are no solid targets around locally led programming, so it remains to be seen whether this will translate into operational action, and how this will be measured,” Mr Walton said.

CARE Australia says empowering women and girls in climate action and dynamic and flexible humanitarian aid beyond the Indo-Pacific are areas which at first glance, deserves more attention in the policy.

“While we are encouraged by the ambitious tone, including mention of investments to reduce disaster and climate risk, there is no specific commitment to supporting women and girls to adapt to the challenges of the climate crisis. This will go a long way to ensuring climate finance reaches the most marginalised, beyond infrastructure.” Mr Walton said.

Mr Walton said that improvements to transparency of aid flows and decision-making would bring Australia up to the mark of other donor countries, with more support to humanitarian aid needed further afield.

“We continue to await a clear commitment to increased humanitarian aid beyond the Indo-Pacific, recognising this is truly how we can play our part in a world in crisis. For women and girls from Syria through to Afghanistan, Australian Aid can and is already making a real difference. But all too often, we see needs which outstrip resourcing,” he said.

“Ultimately, we all have a role to play in realising the ambition of this new policy, which includes Australian NGOs also recognising their own need to fundamentally change – we cannot be part of the old way of working if we really want to drive positive, genuine, locally-led outcomes.”

MEDIA: For interviews with CARE Australia chief executive Peter Walton, please contact Soman Moodley on 0421 730 854.

0 Comments Leave new

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Please note: Comments are moderated before appearing on the site.