The Abbott government has announced $650 million of cuts to Australia’s foreign aid program.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, said the government will cut $61 million from the Pacific region. Only Nauru, which houses around a thousand asylum seekers on behalf of Australia, will be exempt.
Other cuts include $59 million from Indonesia, $71 million from South and West Asia, $113 million from Africa and the Middle East, and $5.3 million from Latin America and the Carribean.
Figures released by Bishop show that Australia spent $3,747 million ($3.7 billion) in aid in 2012-13. The Gillard government’s budget increased this to $4,223.5 million for 2013-14. The Abbott government will reduce this to $3,598 million this financial year, a reduction of $625 million and $149 million less than last year’s actual spending. [Read more...]