NGO in limbo after Australian aid cuts

Tony Abbott, the newly elected prime minister of Australia. The change in the Australia's government also prompted a radical shift in the country's aid landscape. Photo by: David Jackmanson / CC BY

Almost two months after the radical shift in Australia’s aid landscape, aid groups are still unsure what their future holds after the new government confirmed it would cut the ODA budget even further.

One of these organizations hanging by a thread is the Mandala Foundation, a small local NGO that provides psychological support to aid workers who have gone through emotional and psychological stress doing humanitarian work.

Months after the foundation learned that it stands to lose up to 75 percent of their total funding from AusAID, the aid group’s future is still bleak, we learned from Mandala Foundation President Michael Sexton.

“Unfortunately, we are not at this stage any clearer about our future,” noted Sexton. “While [they] invited us to re-submit an alternative funding proposal, their response has not been as positive as we were hoping and we are still awaiting a final decision.”

It remains to be seen whether this will be the fate of most small NGOs largely dependent on AusAID funds for survival.

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About the author

  • Lean 2

    Lean Alfred Santos

    Lean Alfred Santos is a former Devex development reporter focusing on the development community in Asia-Pacific, including major players such as the Asian Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. He previously covered Philippine and international business and economic news, sports and politics.