Australia Rejects PNG Request For Conversion Of Aid To Direct Budgetary Support

Minister says taxpayers expect aid to benefit Australia; direct support subject to corruption

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 29, 2017) – Australia says aid is not charity and that taxpayers expect aid expenditure to benefit their own country.

The comment was made by the Minister for International Development Concetta Fierravanti-Wells in an interview with Fairfax Media after Papua New Guinea requested that Canberra's aid be converted to direct budgetary support.

Australia used to give PNG funds directly but abandoned that approach in the early 1990s because of corruption.

She said PNG renewed calls for budget support in the past and it was rejected.

Ms Fierravanti-Wells also said there was a new paradigm around aid spending and certain elements of the political spectrum in Australia did not believe that money should be spent on overseas development.

Australia had in recent years cut its aid budget which is now just above 0.2 per cent of gross national income.

Radio New Zealand International
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