Friday, June 01, 2007


MORE than $600 million of Australia's foreign aid over the past two years never went overseas but was swallowed up in the coffers of a small Federal Government agency in Pitt Street, Sydney.

This is just one example of a shift in policy under which the Government dresses up as overseas development assistance money that never leaves Australia or is used to prop up its immigration policies......

Almost $1 billion which the Government has identified as official aid is being spent on programs in which no new money flows to the countries said to be getting it, Aidwatch says in a report to be released today.

Counting as much expenditure as possible as aid has become increasingly important since the Prime Minister, John Howard, made his pledge to the United Nations 18 months ago to increase official aid to $4 billion a year by 2010.

But the Herald found that much of the money has never left Australia, and that 10 private companies held almost $1.8 billion in contracts let by the Government's official aid delivery agency - AusAID - last year....

To read the rest of the Sydney Morning Herald Article click here: Phantom aid never leaves our shores