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Development assistance in Kiribati

Flag of Kiribati

Australia's development assistance in Kiribati

2023-24 bilateral allocation [budget estimate]
$26.1 million
2023-24 total Australian ODA [budget estimate]
$43.4 million
2022-23 total Australian ODA [actual]
$42.6 million
2021-22 total Australian ODA [actual]
$39.4 million

Kiribati also benefits from non-ongoing COVID-19 response measures. Funding from these measures will be included in actual figures published in the relevant Australia's Official Development Assistance: Statistical Summary.

Pillar 1 – health security

Australia is working with Kiribati to strengthen its health system and deliver essential health services (including mental health, rehabilitation and control of communicable diseases). In response to COVID-19 Australia has supported the Government of Kiribati preparedness and outbreak response through mechanisms including: direct financial support to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services; delivery of more than 50,000 Australian-donated vaccines and consumables; procurement of urgently needed medical supplies and equipment as well as policing equipment; transport through the Pacific Flights Program; deployment of an Australian Medical Assistance Team; and deploying specialist health technical personnel.

Related initiatives

Kiribati-Australia Health Support Program

Pillar 2 - stability

Australia is redesigning its support for basic education to take account of the impact of COVID-19 on the delivery of education services. We continue to work with Kiribati to strengthen its law and justice institutional frameworks, including through partnering with Kiribati to reduce the incidence of gender-based violence and improve response services. All our investments focus on climate resilience, are disability‑inclusive and address the specific needs of women and girls.

Related initiatives

Kiribati Education Improvement Program

Pillar 3 – economic recovery

In response to COVID-19, Australia is supporting policy making in Kiribati that promotes economic recovery, improves livelihoods and delivers inclusive growth. The Kiribati-Development Partner Economic Reform Taskforce is a key mechanism for coordinating technical assistance to support economic reform priorities and providing budget support linked to successful implementation of reforms. Australia is also exploring opportunities to invest in quality infrastructure projects that provide local employment opportunities.

Australia has pivoted its support for developing a more capable, qualified and mobile I‑Kiribati workforce in response to COVID‑19 pandemic, including by piloting hybrid online learning at the Kiribati Institute of Technology. We are also supporting I-Kiribati access labour opportunities during this time of border restrictions.

Related initiatives

Australia's development efforts are set out in Partnerships for Recovery: Australia's COVID-19 Development Response and the Kiribati COVID-19 Development Response Plan.

Climate and Disaster Resilience

Australia has provided approximately $20 million in bilateral climate change and disaster resilience support to Kiribati since 2016. This support is built into many programs, including in the infrastructure, education and governance sectors. This builds upon a range of regional and global climate change investments which are working directly to build climate and disaster resilience in Kiribati.

In 2022, Australia supported Kiribati’s response to a state of emergency caused by the onset of severe drought. Australia provided over $2.675 million in aid, including for Australian NGOs to collaborate with the Government of Kiribati and local NGOs to deliver drinking water in South Tarawa and the outer islands, technical expertise and Water and Sanitation (WASH) advisory support, and for the purchase and delivery of essential supplies – such as solar distillation units (for outer island communities to convert well water into safe drinking water). Australia procured and delivered water desalination plant equipment, water bladders, electricity generators, and water distribution pipes, amongst other things, in response to the Government of Kiribati’s request for assistance.

Related initiatives

Kiribati - Australia’s commitment to strengthening climate and disaster resilience in the Pacific

Related initiatives

Kiribati-Australia Health Support Program

The Kiribati-Australia Health Support Program ($4.3 million, 2019-2023) is aligned with the Kiribati Ministry of Health and Medical Services' priorities and provides five years of funding certainty to the Ministry. It builds on Australia's previous support to the Kiribati health sector in areas such as mental health, rehabilitation services and preventing and managing high-burden infectious diseases (particularly tuberculosis, leprosy and hepatitis B). The program also supports system strengthening in workforce development planning and health information improvement. The program has pivoted to support Kiribati's COVID-19 preparedness.

Kiribati Education Improvement Program

The Kiribati Education Improvement Program ($97 million, 2011-2023) is supporting Kiribati to provide a quality education to all I‑Kiribati girls and boys, including those with a disability. Kiribati has made significant gains over the past decade in improving standards in basic education, in terms of both access and quality. We are building on this work, with a strengthened focus on improving the literacy and numeracy levels of I‑Kiribati children. Our education program is also addressing the need for strong hygiene standards during the COVID-19, including by improving WASH facilities in Kiribati schools.

Kiribati-Development Partner Economic Reform Taskforce

The Kiribati-Development Partner Economic Reform Taskforce focuses on activities that assists Kiribati to maximise the benefits flowing from its resources and build greater economic resilience against external shocks. Australia coordinates its support with other development partners including the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, New Zealand and the European Union. Development partners have agreed to focus support around achievement of a discrete set of economic reforms identified by the Government of Kiribati and to harmonise support. Key areas of reform include financial governance, revenue diversification and improvements to the effectiveness and efficiency of essential public services.

Skills for Employment Program

The Skills for Employment Program ($36 million, 2016-2023) aims to build a more capable, qualified and mobile I-Kiribati workforce, including through technical and vocational education and training at the Kiribati Institute of Technology and effective management of the Kiribati skills sector. The program is key to the ongoing success of I-Kiribati obtaining local and international employment.

Regional programs and engagement activities

Related documents

Name of document Year published

Kiribati Education Improvement Program Phase III Investment Design Document

Kiribati Education Improvement Program 2018 Independent evaluation report and management response 2018
Kiribati Skills for Employment Program: Investment Design Document


Kiribati Facility Mid Term Review and Management Response 2020
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