Former World Vision chief Tim Costello has lashed the Morrison government for stripping aid from Pakistan in order to fund its Pacific Step Up, saying it was wrong in both a security and humanitarian sense.
Australia is set to divert its bilateral aid funding from Pakistan to the Pacific in 2020-21, the latest Aid Program Performance Report shows.
The Australian government has provided aid to Pakistan for 70 years.
Its programs have included helping women and girls access reproductive health and gender-based violence services.
But the bilateral aid program will be reduced to $19.0 million in 2019-20, and will fully phased out during 2020-21.
Australia will continue to deliver aid in Pakistan through regional and global programs, such as the Australia Awards.
"Going forward, funding in Australia's overall aid program has been redirected to support new initiatives in our immediate Pacific region," the report said.
"Our modest ongoing aid footprint, drawing on funds from our regional and global programs, will centre on a small number of areas where Australia can make the most difference in Pakistan."
Reverend Costello - now executive director of Micah Australia, who was in Canberra for the launch of the Parliamentary Friends of the Pacific group on Monday - said he was "gutted" that aid had been cut to Pakistan.
"Aid is now at it's lowest level ever in our history," Reverend Costello said.
"I said yesterday there's only two parts of the budget with percentages attached. Two per cent of gross national income for defence and 0.7 per cent for aid. We're at 0.21 per cent. Why those percentages? Because they're both part of security. You need hard power and you need soft power.
"Aid is soft power and even defence and security people in Australia are starting to speak up and say we've cut aid too much."
Mr Costello said it did not make sense to cut funding to Pakistan in either a humanitarian and security sense.
"I absolutely support the Pacific Step Up, we've been meeting with the Prime Minister about that, but I don't support the Pacific Step Up when it pinches money from the poor," Reverend Costello said.
"Women and children in Pakistan who our aid programs are helping, it was giving them hope and they're really desperate.
"Pinching the crumbs from the poor to give to other poor, we're better than that."
Mr Costello said the Australian government should instead rebuild the aid budget.
"As I said aid is a soft power in saying 'we are a friend, we understand your predicament'," Reverend Costello said.
"When you win hearts and minds you get intelligence and intelligence out of Pakistan we know is pretty important for security reasons that we all know about, terror is global so I just think it's not smart in terms of security."