Panel set up to review foreign aid program: Australian FM

10:19, November 16, 2010      

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An independent panel has been set up to review Australia's foreign aid and development program for the first time in 14 years, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said on Tuesday.

The five-month review will be conducted by development economists and experts from the non-government sector, and chaired by former senior diplomat and bureaucrat Sandy Hollway.

The review will examine the effectiveness and efficiency of Australia's aid and guide the strategic direction of the aid program.

According to Rudd, it is the first independent review of Australia's aid program since 1996.

He said Australia's aid budget had doubled in the past five years to about 4 billion U.S. dollars, and the government was on track to reach 8 billion U.S. dollars, or 0.5 percent of gross national income, by 2015/16.

"This represents some 4.3 billion U.S. dollars of investment by the Australian taxpayer each year," he told ABC Radio on Tuesday.

"I just want to make sure we're driving every dollar as far as it can go."

The review panel will consult with key stakeholders, including non-government organizations, relevant Australian government departments, partner governments and bilateral and multilateral donors.

Source: Xinhua


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