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Development assistance in the Pacific

Overview of Australia’s development program to the Pacific

2021-22 total Australian ODA [budget estimate]
$1,618.2 million
2020-21 total Australian ODA [budget actual]
$1,720.8 million

For over half a century, Australia has worked in partnership with the Pacific towards a shared goal: the lasting sovereignty, stability, security and prosperity of all Pacific countries and peoples. Australia remains the region’s largest development partner. We provide support in a way that is responsive to and guided by Pacific countries and strive to be transparent and coordinated in our efforts.

Through our development program we aim to reduce fiscal distress and help lay the foundation for economic recovery through supporting resilient economies, improving livelihoods and increasing incomes. We are committed to strengthening the region’s climate resilience and climate mitigation objectives. State stability and cohesion is supported through investments in health, water, sanitation, hygiene, education and social protection systems. We empower women and girls and people with a disability to participate more fully in social, political and economic life, including in the context of COVID-19 recovery. Deepening people-to-people links is also a crucial element of our work, including bringing First Nations voices to our pacific engagements.

Australia’s current development cooperation approaches and focus have been shaped by the need to respond to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 in the region. Australia’s support is operationalised through COVID-19 Response Plans at the country and regional level.

Papua New Guinea remains Australia’s largest bilateral development program. In the Pacific, this is followed by Solomon Islands Vanuatu and Fiji. We also have substantial bilateral programs with Samoa, Tonga, Kiribati, Nauru and other Pacific Island countries. For details refer to the country specific pages. We also make investments in strengthening the region through a substantial Pacific Regional Program.

How we engage, and the quality of what we do, is as important as the volume of resources we bring. Pacific people and organisations are key to prioritising, shaping and delivering our response. Australia is here to listen, work together with the Pacific and make a difference. We will work together as a Pacific family for the long-term.

We deliver tangible support directly via Pacific governments, as well as through international and local non-government organisations, academic institutions, regional organisations, multilateral partners, and the private sector. We constantly evaluate, improve and expand our approaches to meet Pacific needs. For instance through modalities such as the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific (AIFFP) and ensuring that the work we do is addressing the impacts of climate change.

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