Australia’s Aid Program

The world has changed – and our aid program is changing too. Today, many developing countries are growing rapidly, with aid representing an increasingly small proportion of development finance. To be effective in this new context, our aid is becoming more innovative and catalytic, leveraging other drivers for development, such as private sector investment and domestic finance. We are recasting our aid program in light of this new development paradigm.

Our aid program now focusses more clearly on our Indo-Pacific region. We have a sharper focus on our immediate neighbourhood – this is where we can make the most difference.

The purpose of Australia’s aid programme is to promote Australia’s national interests by contributing to sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction. We will pursue this purpose by focussing on two development outcomes: supporting private sector development and strengthening human development.

Australia’s Stepped-up Engagement in the Pacific

At the 2016 Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ Meeting in Pohnpei, Prime Minister Turnbull committed to a ‘step-change’ in Australia’s engagement with the Pacific. At this year’s Forum Leaders’ Meeting on 8 September in Apia, Samoa, the Prime Minister delivered on that promise, announcing a range of measures to strengthen Australia’s engagement with the Pacific, including through:

  • stronger partnerships for economic growth
  • stronger partnerships for security
  • stronger relationships between our people.

The step-up responds to the significant long-term challenges faced by our partners in the Pacific, including: climate change and responding to natural disasters; sustaining economic growth and boosting education, skills and jobs for growing populations; gender equality and recognising the essential role of women in achieving better development outcomes; and the threat of major disease outbreak and tackling transnational crime. Australia’s step up in engagement builds on and leverages our development assistance to the region of $1.1 billion in the Pacific in 2017–18.



To find out more about what the Australian Government is doing as part of our overseas development assistance and our stepped-up Pacific engagement, please visit the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) website at or use one of these quick links:

Australia’s Aid Program »

Where We Give Aid »

Aid Budget and Statistical Information »

Who We Work With »

Stepping-up Australia’s engagement in the Pacific  »

Overview of Australia’s Pacific Regional Aid Program  »

Fact Sheet on Australia’s Pacific engagement  »

The 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper
Launched on 23 November 2017, the Foreign Policy White Paper is the first comprehensive white paper on Australia’s international engagement in 14 years. It sets out a comprehensive framework to advance Australia’s security and prosperity in a contested and competitive world.

It highlights the priority Australia has placed upon the stability, security and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific, and the Turnbull Government’s continued commitment to advancing Australian interests and promoting an open, inclusive and rules-based region.

To learn more, visit the Foreign Policy White Paper website.