International aid continues to be one of the biggest losers in the Federal Budget with little response to growing gender inequality and…


Global women’s rights organisation ActionAid Australia welcomes a small aid budget increase, but says Australia is failing to respond to growing crisis and instability in the world.

Despite the nominal aid increases announced in the 2024-25 budget, Australian aid has stagnated at 0.19 percent of Gross National Income (GNI). Aid funding remains significantly below the Government’s commitment of reaching 0.5 percent of GNI and our international obligation of 0.7% of GNI.  

“Australia continues to be one of the least generous aid donors and on the critical issues facing women globally – climate change, conflict and gender inequality – Australia’s aid budget has once again fallen short,” said Michelle Higelin, Executive Director of ActionAid Australia.

“From Gaza, to Sudan, to Afghanistan, communities on the frontline of conflict, particularly women and girls, are facing untold human suffering. Increased humanitarian assistance well beyond the small increases in the budget are urgently needed to avert famine and to deliver lifesaving food, water and other relief.

“The Government’s imminent release a new International Gender Equality Strategy should have been matched with scaled up, targeted funding to address the growing threats to women’s rights globally and the disproportionate impact that global crises are having on women and girls worldwide.

“UN Women has found that without further investment, realising gender equality will take over 300 years at current rates of progress. Australia must ensure a significant increase in targeted gender equality funding to support the implementation of this strategy over the coming years, otherwise it will fail,” said Michelle Higelin.

ActionAid Executive Director Michelle Higelin also noted that Australia’s climate finance commitment of AUD 3 billion over the 2020-2025 period is well below Australia’s climate finance fair share.

“Australia provided $619 million in climate finance in 2022-231, only around 15 percent of our $4 billion fair share of the current annual USD 100 billion climate finance goal. The failure to significantly increase Australia’s climate finance contributions in the 2024-25 budget is a missed opportunity for Australia to demonstrate its commitment to progressive climate action.”

As Governments work to adopt a new post-2025 climate finance goal (the NCQG) at COP29 in November this year, low-income countries are calling for an urgent increase in climate funding in line with the trillions needed to respond to escalating climate disasters and to transition their economies.

“If Australia is serious about supporting women and communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis, as the new International Development Policy suggests, it must put real money on the table for global climate solutions,” said Michelle Higelin.

About ActionAid

ActionAid Australia is a global women’s rights organisation working in 70 countries to end poverty and injustice.

/Public Release.