Australia gives aid to other countries because it improves our regional security.
Australia helps partner governments improve law and order, prevent and recover from conflict, and manage a range of transnational threats such as people trafficking, illicit drugs, HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases.
By helping to build stronger communities and more stable governments we improve our own economic and security interests.
Australia's aid program focuses on the Asia Pacific region. The international community recognises Australia's leading role in the region, particularly in PNG and the Pacific.
The geographic focus of Australia's aid program also makes sense given that two thirds of the world's poor, some 800 million people, reside in the Asia Pacific, yet receive less than one third of total aid flows.
Australia continues to provide selective assistance to Africa and the Middle East, primarily working through international and non-government organisations.
The Australian Government recognises the valuable role of NGOs and works with them to deliver around seven percent of the aid program.
Australian NGOs bring particular strengths to Australia's aid program. They mobilise public support and voluntary contributions for aid; they often have strong links with community groups in developing countries and they often work in areas where government-to-government aid is not possible.
Many also have expertise in meeting people's basic needs, particularly in emergency situations where quick and flexible responses are essential.