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Development assistance in the Pacific

Pacific Regional — effective regional institutions


This page gives an overview of Australia's work to support regional institutions in the Pacific region.

Strong regional organisations contribute to the stability of the Pacific region – Pillars 1 (Health Security), 2 (Stability) and 3 (Economic Recovery) of Partnerships for Recovery: Australia's COVID-19 Development Response. A stable, secure, resilient and prosperous Pacific region is in Australia's national interest. Australia's diplomatic engagement through regional organisations  complements our bilateral relationships in the Pacific.

Regional organisations have continued to play an important role in developing collaborative regional responses to critical issues. For example, in responding to the impacts of COVID-19, the Pacific Islands Forum established the Pacific Humanitarian Pathway to ensure the movement of essential goods and services, including medical and humanitarian assistance, across our region. The Pacific Community (SPC) rapidly pivoted its priorities to support the early regional response to COVID-19, including by contributing health expertise and networks to support testing regimes and strengthen laboratories, public health messaging and surveillance.

Australia also supports a number of discrete regional initiatives for effective governance. These initiatives support Pacific island countries to strengthen public sector capacities, transparency and accountability, and adopt and adhere to regional norms and standards.

For further information about other Council of Regional Organisations of the Pacific (CROP) agencies, see the Pacific islands regional organisations webpage.

Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS)

$24.96 million in core contributions, 2018-2021

The Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Secretariat supports the operation of the Pacific Islands Forum – the pre-eminent regional organisation in the Pacific. Australia is a member of the Forum and provides substantial multi-year core funding to the Secretariat. Our assistance supports the Secretariat to work on regional policy issues including political governance, economic cooperation, security, and trade. The PIF Secretariat is leading efforts to support Forum members' response to the economic and social impacts of COVID-19.

Since 2014, Australia has had a Partnership with the PIF Secretariat. It commits both parties to work together to address the challenges facing our region in line with the Secretariat's mandate.

Australia is a strong supporter of the Framework for Pacific Regionalism, which aims to support focused political conversations and settlements that address key strategic issues facing the region.

Along with other Forum members, Australia is contributing to the development of a 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent, which is due to be presented to Forum leaders at their meeting in 2021.

Related documents

Name of document

Year published

Forum Communique of the Pacific Islands Forum Special Leaders Retreat, 3 February 2021 2021
Forum Communique of the 50th Pacific Islands Forum, Tuvalu, 13 to 16 August 2019 2019
Partnership between the Government of Australia and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat 2014-2023 2018

Related links

Pacific Community (SPC)

$42.5 million in core contributions, 2021-23

SPC is the largest technical and scientific regional organisation in the Pacific. Its mandate is to assist Pacific Island countries and territories by supporting and supplementing national capacity through the delivery of technical, scientific, research, policy and training services.

Australia is a founding member of SPC. Over 2021-2023, DFAT is providing around $42.5 million to SPC through our membership and voluntary core funding. Our predictable, multi-year funding is an investment in the strategic outcomes of SPC. It enables SPC to flexibly respond to emerging regional priorities. For example, SPC has pivoted its programs to respond to the economic and health impacts of COVID-19, as outlined in the Pacific Community Transition Plan 2021.

Australia also provides project and program funding to SPC, to support the delivery of essential services in areas including public health, fisheries science, food security, education standards, statistics for development and gender. SPC has pivoted its programs to respond to the economic and health impacts of COVID-19.

In 2014, SPC and Australia entered into a Partnership supporting a shared vision to work in close cooperation to achieve improved development outcomes and sustainable improvements in the quality of life of all Pacific islanders. A revision to the Partnership Agreement was signed by the Foreign Minister in November 2020, setting out the objectives and performance measures for 2014-2023.

Related documents*

Name of document Year published Type
The Pacific Community (SPC) – Government of Australia (GoA) Partnership for Pacific Regionalism and Enhanced Development 2014-2023   2021 Partnership
The Pacific Community (SPC) – Government of Australia (GoA) Partnership 2014-2023 2021 Partnership
Evaluation of the SPC-GOA Partnership: Final Report 2016 Report

Related Links

* The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is committed to high standards of transparency and accountability in the management of the Australian aid program through publishing information on our website, including policies, plans, results, evaluations and research. Our practice is to publish documents after the partner government and any other partners directly involved in the delivery of the initiative have been consulted. Not all material published on this site is created by the Australian aid program and therefore not all documents reflect our views. In limited circumstances some information may be withheld for reasons including privacy and commercial sensitivity.

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