There has been a lot said in recent months about Australia’s foreign aid Programme. I value Australia’s aid programme and am proud of the results we have been able to achieve, but also acknowledge the need to be results focused.

It’s not always easy to show the impact of Australian aid, mostly because much of its affects are not directly visible to Australians. The reason Australia contributes to overseas development assistance (ODA) or foreign aid is because it’s critical for our nation’s security, stability and prosperity. Being surrounded by stable countries with strong economies is absolutely essential for Australia’s peace and economic growth.

We spend 90% of our foreign aid in the Indo-Pacific region, supporting our diplomatic, trade and defence efforts and make a conscience effort to focus our aid in the region closest to us.

The Turnbull Government will always remain committed to our neighbours and our region but we also rightly have a focus on performance, results and above all on value-for-money. This means making sure that Australian tax dollars are being put to use that enables our interests, as well as those receiving aid, to be advanced.

Our foreign aid is working to help improve the livelihoods of our neighbours. It is effective and a true validation and testament of our commitment to our region. Our history has shown us as we’ve worked together in the past to defend our region so too we will now, working together, be able to face the many challenges that will allow Australia to continue to grow in safety and prosperity.

More information on Australian foreign aid programmes can be found at the department for Foreign Affairs and Trade website: http://dfat.gov.au/aid/Pages/australias-aid-program.aspx