The Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce has expressed disappointment at the Australian Government's pledge to increase funding for refugee programs by $130 million over the next three years, saying it does little to redress cuts made to Australia's overseas aid budget in recent years.

Misha Coleman, executive officer of the ACRT, said there was "clearly nothing to celebrate" in the announcement made by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull with Australian aid to major countries of refugee origin and asylum in the Asia-Pacific region slashed as well as $1.22 billion in cuts to the overall foreign aid budget in recent years.

"So while of course the pledge today of $130 million is welcomed, it does little to redress the cuts that have made over recent years."

Ms Coleman added the additional announcement that the Turnbull Government would not cut its commitment to provide 18,750 refugee resettlement places - including taking in refugees from Central America, "pales in comparison to the new pledges that other countries made at the summit”.

Rev Mark Riessen, the acting chair of the taskforce, said while it had been hoped Mr Turnbull would "announce an end to the hell that people are enduring in Nauru and in Manus Province...unfortunately the cruel attempt to cover up Government-sanctioned abuse just continues".

Meanwhile, Oxfam said that while the announcement was a "step in the right direction", it was not new, and, the Refugee Council of Australia said it did not address the "elephant in the room", the more than 2,000 people sent to detention on Manus Island and Nauru.

US President Barack Obama told the UN General Assembly that 50 nations had pledged to accept 360,000 refugees from war-torn countries this year, double that of last year. The US alone has pledged to take 110,000 new refugees in the 2017 fiscal year.

~ www.acrt.com.au