The Australian government has unveiled precisely how much was spent from its foreign aid budget last year on each of the United Nations’ (UN) 17 Global Goals, including across targets to end hunger and poverty and achieve robust universal health, education and gender equality.
The latest aid statistical summary reveals that goal 3 for good health and well-being received the most considerable sum, at just under $700 million across 2019 to 2020. Goal 4 for quality education and goal 1 for no poverty followed in second and third place, at $615 and $547 million, respectively.
Goals 14 and 15, which focus on protecting biodiversity on land and in the world’s oceans, received the least, while information on goal 13 for climate action was missing.
Poverty, health and gender equality were the only three goals to have their spending increased from the year prior.
The Global Goals provide a “shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet,” as described by the UN. The goals call on world leaders to recognise that ending poverty cannot be achieved without prioritising quality education, social justice, health, gender equality and an end to environmental destruction around the world.
Adopted by all UN member states in 2015, the targets are intended to be achieved by 2030.
🇦🇺's international development program has been transformed to stand with our neighbours in the wake of #COVID19. Through our #PartnershipsForRecovery strategy, we are helping to strengthen health security, support stability and stimulate economic recovery in our region ⬇️ https://t.co/3OTpD5qtYd— DFAT🇦🇺 (@dfat) March 12, 2021
Home to Australia’s closest neighbours, the Pacific region received the largest chunk of the total aid spending, at close to $1.3 billion. A little over $1 billion was distributed throughout South-East and East Asia, while South and West Asia and the Middle East and Africa took home around $300 million each.
Just $3.6 million was spent across Latin America and the Caribbean.
Australia’s most recent federal budget, released in October last year, shows the government will increase spending across gender equality and water and sanitation issues over the coming year. A one-time COVID-19 recovery package for the Pacific and Timor-Leste was also announced, as were overall aid increases to Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa, Nauru, Tonga and Kiribati.
"[This] will help address the economic and social costs of the pandemic in the Pacific and Timor-Leste, helping to underpin our region's stability and economic recovery," Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne said at the time, according to ABC.