Development assistance in Fiji
Overview of Australia's aid program to Fiji
- 2020-21 bilateral allocation [budget estimate]
- $40.0 million
- 2020-21 total Australian ODA [budget estimate]
- $65.6 million
- 2019-20 total Australian ODA [budget estimate]
- $58.8 million
* COVID-19 Development Response Plans are forthcoming and will be published on this page. Australia’s development efforts are set out in Partnerships for Recovery: Australia’s COVID-19 Development Response.
Australia and Fiji share a strong and enduring bilateral relationship, demonstrated by Prime Minister Morrison and Prime Minister Bainimarama’s signing of the 'Fiji-Australia Vuvale Partnership' on 16 September 2019. 'Vuvale' means 'family' in Fijian. This term was chosen to reflect the depth, breadth and warmth of the relationship, and our ambitions for it looking ahead. The Partnership is broad-ranging and comprehensive and builds on the already strong foundations in Fiji-Australia relations. It paves the way for deeper security, economic and people-to-people links. It commits Australia and Fiji to strengthening bilateral political cooperation, including between our Prime Ministers, Foreign and Defence ministers and senior officials. Australia's aid program to Fiji supports Australia’s national interest in a stable and prosperous Fiji that is an active member of the Pacific community.
The Australian Government is providing an estimated $58.8 million in total ODA to Fiji in 2019-20. This includes an estimated $35.0 million in bilateral funding specifically for Fiji. Note: this figure does not include Prime Minister Morrison's recently announced Pacific initiatives. For more information Australia’s Pacific engagement
Official Development Assistance (ODA) constitutes a relatively minor proportion of Fiji's GNI at approximately 2.9 per cent (2017, World Bank).
Australia's aid program works in partnership with the Fijian Government in support of Fiji's development needs. Australian aid complements other donors and plays a major role in leveraging the public and private sectors to deliver meaningful results. We are Fiji's leading donor in health and education and a major donor in private sector development and governance.
Australia's development assistance targets the cross cutting issues of gender equality, disability inclusion, disaster risk management and support to civil society.
Since 2015, Australia has been implementing its development assistance to Fiji to achieve three strategic objectives, the third of which (TC Winston recovery) is complete:
Objective 1: Increased private sector development
Australia supports good governance and invests in the private sector to stimulate growth. We provide technical assistance and funding for programs that increase opportunities for employment and income generation, particularly in rural communities. We are helping the Fiji Government to reform the public sector, streamline business regulations, facilitate trade and bolster accountability institutions.
Objective 2: Improved human development
To help ensure the benefits of economic growth are shared by all Fijians, Australia focuses on improving access to quality health and education services, particularly for disadvantaged segments of the population, including the rural poor, women and people living with disabilities. Australia works with the Government of Fiji and the private sector to strengthen the key systems, policies and capacities that underpin quality services and ensure value for money.
Objective 3: Tropical Cyclone Winston recovery
Tropical Cyclone Winston, the strongest cyclone to impact Fiji, made landfall on 20-21 February 2016, causing 44 deaths and affecting approximately 540,000 people. Following the delivery of $15 million of emergency humanitarian assistance in the immediate aftermath of the cyclone, Australia supported the Government of Fiji's recovery and reconstruction efforts through a $20 million recovery package. We rebuilt schools and health facilities, replaced damaged medical equipment and restored water and sanitation services.
In 2019, here are some of the results Australia’s aid program achieved:
- Australia, working with the International Finance Corporation, facilitated a public-private partnership in the Fijian health sector, the first of its kind in a Pacific Island Country.
- Under the Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative, Australia supported Fiji to develop an online asset registry to broaden access to finance for small to medium enterprises.
- Australian support to Fiji Women’s Fund advanced gender equality by supporting Medical Services Pacific to provide health and social services to 5,156 clients (2,686 women and 2,470 men, inclusive of 44 people with disabilities).
- Australia awarded 85 new Australia Awards to scholars from Fiji to study in tertiary institutions in Australia and the Pacific, and 60 Australian Volunteers worked in Fiji across 34 organisations in 2018-19.
- Through Australia’s $35 million assistance for Tropical Cyclone Winston, we have built two health centres and 34 schools.
An important milestone for Fiji's bilateral aid program was the establishment of the Fiji Program Support Facility (‘The Facility’) in January 2017. The Facility supports the Australian Government's policy of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the aid program by having multiple aid programs managed by a single contractor.
Our changing program
Australia’s development cooperation with the Pacific moved into a new phase as Australia stepped up its engagement across the board in the Pacific. In Fiji and elsewhere in the Pacific, the Step-up strengthens Australia’s support for infrastructure, labour mobility and expanded cooperation on regional security. Under the Step-up, we have also progressed new partnerships on sports, churches and secondary scholarships, deepening our community-level connections.
The Pacific Regional Program complements efforts at the bilateral level to address a range of regional development and economic growth challenges. The four strategic objectives are economic growth, effective regional institutions, healthy and resilient communities; and empowering of women and girls.
As part of the shift in Australia's aid investment, we are increasing initiatives focused on private sector development. This includes increased support for infrastructure, business, agriculture, innovation and financial inclusion and ways to partner with the private sector in new investments.
Australia is also increasing support to initiatives that empower women to take on greater leadership roles in public and community life, and participate in the economy.
Australia is committed to supporting climate change and disaster risk management efforts, as well as to managing climate and other disaster risks in our aid investments. We continue to work with other donors to help Fiji secure access to international sources of climate-related development funding.