Aid: a view from the street

Campaigning for change article written on the 17 Jun 2011

Our friends over at the ONE campaign in the UK recently took to the streets to find out what the general public already know and think about foreign aid spending. The results are truly inspiring.

Initially, most people thought the spending levels of foreign aid were highly inflated, and that the UK Government’s focus should be far more internally focussed. Some even assumed a whopping 40% of the UK’s GNI was already being spent overseas!

But when the accurate figure of less than 0.5% was revealed (along with the amazing education enrollments, vaccine distributions and other programs that have already been achieved at this level), it is heartening to see the reaction change. Their messages to their own Government is now ‘please do more, and increase aid spending’.

I’d hope that we’d achieve the same result on the streets of Australia – a lot of people don’t realise that we only spend 0.34% of our GNI on foreign aid. Whilst the Government have thankfully committed to raising this to 0.5%, we’re still a fair way off our fair share (calculated on a global scale) of 0.7%.

What you can do: