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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2004  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/02/2004   
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Contents >> International relations >> The Australian Overseas Aid Program

The Australian Overseas Aid Program aims to advance the national interest by assisting developing countries to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development. Australian aid provides practical, well-targeted development assistance to the Asia-Pacific region and responds selectively to needs in South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The aid program also responds to international emergency and humanitarian crises. Recent world events, and a tight fiscal environment within Australia, reinforce these priorities and demand a flexible aid program that can respond quickly and effectively to emerging challenges confronting Australia's developing country partners.

Within the Asia-Pacific region, many countries are facing significant challenges to their stability and security. Conflict and instability impact directly on countries' development prospects. The aid program can, and does, provide a 'peace dividend' to encourage the cessation of hostilities and the start of constructive development. The aid program is an integral part of Australia's engagement with the Asia-Pacific region and a practical demonstration of a commitment to helping build regional stability and prosperity.

In 2003-04, the Australian Government is providing an estimated $1.894b as Official Development Assistance (ODA), an increase of $79m over the 2002-03 figure of $1.815b. Details of ODA to partner countries in 2003-04 are set out in table 3.3. The ratio of Australia's ODA to gross national income for 2003-04 is estimated at 0.25%, placing Australia above the donor average which, in the latest year available (2002), is 0.23%.

Further information and publications on the Australian Government's aid program can be obtained from the web site of the Australian Agency for International Development, <http://www.ausaid.gov.au>.

The Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID)

AusAID manages Australia's overseas aid program on behalf of the Australian Government. Actual delivery of the aid program is outsourced. In 2003-04, AusAID will be well advanced in moving more towards in-country activity management to enhance decision-making at the local level and promote more dialogue with partner governments.

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