Survey of Australians' attitudes to aid yields mixed results

New research from Australia suggests there's majority support for most of the country's aid being spent in the Pacific.

Researchers from the Australian National University surveyed Australians about their opinions of foreign aid and what they expect from their aid programme.

One of the authors, Terence Wood, says in a nutshell, the research found most Australians support the government giving aid, even though many don't actually know how much Australia gives or where.

However, he says the public is also fairly comfortable with the amount of money given being reduced - but not to the Pacific.

"Both Australians and New Zealanders tend to think of the Pacific as sort of the part of the world where we have our most strongest obligations, and so in a positive sense I suspect that if you would ask Australans whether they wanted aid reduced it wouldn't be to the Pacific."

Terence Wood says the survey overwhelmingly showed that most people know little about their country's aid programme, which he says isn't good.