Estimated Official Development Assistance (ODA) 2012–2013: $15.4 million
Implications of the Independent Review of Aid Effectiveness
In releasing its response to the Independent Review of Aid Effectiveness, the Government announced that Australia will phase out bilateral aid to China. This is because China is now a major global power, with significant economic strengths and resources, and has itself become a major donor. Australian bilateral assistance to China will conclude in 2012-13 as existing programs come to an end. Australia will continue to provide targeted assistance through multilateral organisations and regional programs where we can make a difference to poor people.
China is the world’s second largest economy and is likely to become the world’s largest before 2030. China has met most Millennium Development Goal targets and has publically committed to eliminating domestic poverty by 2020. On a purchasing power basis, China’s GDP per capita ($9,146) is higher than any other major recipient of Australian aid.
Despite transforming itself into one of the world's largest economies and having lifted some 500 million people out of poverty, China faces ongoing poverty challenges, many of which relate to unbalanced development. China still has the world's second largest number of poor people (after India). According to the World Bank (2009), more than 250 million Chinese still live on less than US$1.25 per day. China's remaining poor are widely dispersed and hard to reach. Income inequality is increasing and over 200 million migrant workers have very restricted access to basic services in the urban areas where they live and work. Environmental challenges continue to constrain economic growth and public health, despite advances in areas such as pollution control and water management. More balanced development requires comprehensive structural, institutional and legal reform, complemented by improvements in basic service delivery.
As an international power and driver of regional and global economic growth, China has unequalled potential to catalyse development in the Asia–Pacific region and contribute to global achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. China's growing influence on international development, including as a donor, underscores the importance of engaging China on these issues.
Australia's aid program
Australia’s bilateral assistance to China will conclude in 2012-13 as existing programs come to an end. These include the Australia Environmental Development Partnership; China Australia Health and HIV/AIDS Facility; volunteers; and scholarships.
Australia will continue to provide targeted assistance through multilateral organisations and regional programs where we can make a difference to poor people. Australia will continue to fund a Human Rights Technical Cooperation Program with China as part of our commitment to promote human rights in our region. We will also fund the Tibet Health Capacity Building Program building on a previous activity. In keeping with the transition from a donor-recipient relationship with China, Australia is also exploring ways to work with China as a donor, particularly in the Asia/Pacific region.
Last reviewed: 12 October, 2012