Bilateral donors contribute over USD 130 billion in development assistance annually. It is therefore very much in Australia’s interest to coordinate with them. In engaging with other bilateral donors, we choose the type of cooperation that is most effective and fit-for-purpose, to ensure that our partnerships deliver maximum results in helping lift people out of poverty.


Australia has entered into formal bilateral partnership agreements, either through government-level agreements or agency-level memoranda of understanding, with 10 countries: Canada, China, the European Union (EU), France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.


Australia has multilateral partnership framework agreements in place with a number of partners in:

  • Commonwealth development programs: For Australia, the Commonwealth provides opportunities to deliver democracy and development outcomes through programs in priority areas, as well as to countries further afield that are difficult for its bilateral program to reach. In 2012-13, Australia provided an estimated $12.3 million to the Commonwealth’s development programs.

  • Sectoral funds: Australia provides funding to a number of sectoral funds (e.g.: The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria) that are working to improve development outcomes in health and education, sustainable development and innovative financing in low-income countries.
  • Multilateral development banks: Australia engages at a program level with the Multilateral Banks (the World Bank Group and the Asian Development Bank). Australia provides core funding to the Banks in support of their development and poverty alleviation mandate. Australia and the World Bank continue to strengthen their cooperation in Sub-Saharan Africa. The World Bank partners with 48 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and has a portfolio covering multiple sectors, from trade and transportation to agriculture, energy, education, health care, and water and sanitation.


  • United Nations organisations: United Nations development agencies are important partners for the Australian aid program. Their geographic reach, specialist expertise, convening power, extensive data sets and scale of operation support Australia’s international development objectives. Australia continues to be a strong supporter of United Nations development agencies such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) , which support Australia’s efforts to lift people out of poverty.


Australian support to multilateral agencies working in Africa is complementary to other Australian Government initiatives such as the Australia-Africa Partnerships Facility.