The Australian government has earmarked AU$213.3 million (US$136mn) in additional spending for aid to Ukraine over the next five years. The funding is part of the new federal budget revealed on Tuesday.
Most of the money is to be spent on military assistance, including Bushmaster armored vehicles and other weapon systems that Canberra wants to provide to Kyiv over two years. The Labor government of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese allocated AU$185.6 million (US$118mn) for this purpose.
The rest of the money will go to providing services such as healthcare to the 6,500 Ukrainian nationals who were granted temporary shelter in Australia, supporting Ukraine’s border guards with cybersecurity, and helping Ukrainians living in the Pacific country to integrate into society.
Australia’s defense spending will receive an 8% boost this year, largely due to a continuation of the policies of Albanese’s predecessor, Liberal PM Scott Morrison.
The Morrison government announced plans to ship 20 Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles in early April, citing a request from Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to the national parliament.