With the latest progress report on the Sustainable Development Goals indicating that the world is not on track to end poverty by 2030 and millions more people living in hunger than a decade ago, the review of Australia’s International Development Policy comes at a critical juncture. The 25 year review of the Beijing Platform for Action also calls for renewed commitment to the global imperative of gender equality with women and girls continuing to experience multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and being left behind in many areas of progress.
ActionAid Australia welcomes the review into Australia’s International Development Policy. This can be a defining moment for the Australian Government to set an ambitious agenda as a wealthy nation to contribute meaningfully to advancing sustainable development, gender equality and poverty eradication. Australia’s ambition should be matched by adequate resourcing, targeted to where there is greatest need.
The key recommendations of this submission are that:
- With women comprising the majority of people living in poverty, gender equality should remain a core goal of Australia’s International Development Policy with a twin-track approach that promotes standalone and integrated programming, matched by increased resource commitments.
- An integrated framework should be adopted that addresses climate change, gender equality and interlinked crises, which would drive more effective responses for the most marginalised and climate affected populations, particularly women and girls.
- Australia should target its development cooperation where there is greatest need, which includes re-instating an increasing portion of aid to Africa, where 90% of people living in extreme poverty are expected to reside by 2030.
- Australia should invest in the strengthening of civil society in partner countries with targeted and direct support to national civil society organisations (CSOs), including women’s rights organisations, through both its development and humanitarian programming.
- Australia’s increasing focus on aid for trade should include assessment of the gender and environmental impacts of Free Trade Agreements and support the increased participation of women and their organisations in trade negotiations, as well as investment in other measures to advance our international obligations and support women to benefit equitably from trade.
- Australia’s funding for development cooperation should increase to at least 0.7 GNI over the next five years recognising that without significantly increased investment, governments globally will fail to end poverty by 2030.