Australia has had a shameful performance when it comes to sending aid overseas, according to World Vision head Tim Costello.
Speaking at a forum on global aid and health, Mr Costello lashed out at the government and opposition's position on aid to some of Australia's closest neighbours.
He says some of the world's poorest people are in countries like PNG, Indonesia and the Solomon Islands.
Mr Costello described a health clinic in PNG where pregnant women have to bring their own buckets of water to give birth because of poor sanitation.
"You can literally see Australian islands from that health clinic's shore, which says to you, what's the moral significance of this piece of sea?" he said.
Australia spends 33 cents in every $100 on overseas aid, compared to the UK, which spends 50 cents in every $100.
"We know that in our region - Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and PNG - there are more people with malaria than anywhere else in the world."
The Millennium Development Goals have seen the numbers of children dying each day from preventable diseases halved. Mr Costello says this is encouraging.
"For the very little we spend, when you hear those figures, I think we need to say this is remarkable and imagine if we were really serious, if we really stepped up, what might be possible," he said.
Source: Australian Broadcasting Corporation