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Development assistance in Palau

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Australia's aid program to Palau

2021-22 bilateral allocation [budget estimate] for North Pacific
$5.0 million
2021-22 total Australian ODA [budget estimate] for North Pacific
$11.1 million
2019-20 total Australian ODA [budget estimate] to North Pacific
$8.4 million

Australia's aid program in the North Pacific focusses on the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. The Australian Government will provide an estimated $8.4 million in Official Development Assistance (ODA) to the North Pacific in 2019-20. This will include an estimated $5.0 million in bilateral funding.

Australia's regional programs complement its bilateral programs across the Pacific. Our regional programs include those that assist Palau mitigate the impacts of severe climate, tidal and oceanographic events (through the Climate and Oceans Support Program in the Pacific), and strengthen governance and accountability (through the Pacific Islands Centre for Public Administration, the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre and the Pacific Regional Audit Initiative).

Australia's bilateral aid investments in Palau support the following objectives:

Objective 1: Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector reform

Australia is part of a multi-partner effort to reform Palau's ICT sector and increase access to high quality, low-cost internet services in Palau. The Asian Development Bank is financing a submarine cable connecting Palau to an international cable hub in Guam. Australia, through the World Bank's Australia-Pacific Islands Partnership Trust Fund provides technical assistance to reform the Palau National Communication Corporation and the Belau Submarine Cable Corporation, promote private sector participation in the ICT sector, and drive greater competition in the market. Australia's contribution is valued at AUD2 million over the four years to 31 December 2020.

Objective 2: Achieving gender equality and enhancing women's empowerment

Australia is working to address gender equality in Palau by funding priority activities under the Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development Palau Country Plan. This is part of the Australian Government's Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development initiative that commits $320 million over 10 years to improve political, economic and social opportunities of Pacific women. The Palau country plan aims to foster the economic empowerment of women, increase the participation of women in public life and decision making, and reduce the incidence of gender based violence.

Our results

Australia's aid program has:

  • contributed to the permanent removal of 18,736 pieces of unexploded ordnance from Koror and Peleliu, freeing land and marine areas for infrastructure, agriculture, housing, tourism and community use (2012-2017); and
  • assisted 2 Palauans gain tertiary qualifications linked to Palau's development priorities since 2012 – another is continuing their studies in a regional university (with 2 more joining them in 2018).

Our changing program

From 2012 to 2017, we made an important contribution to Palau's development by clearing more than 40 tonnes of unexploded remnants of war from parts of Koror and Peleliu. Since then, we have shifted the focus of our aid program in Palau to the twin goals of digital sector reform and gender equality – two areas with significant potential to contribute further to economic growth and social stability in Palau.

Our aid program in Palau reflects the principles and values of Australia's Foreign Policy White Paper and aid policy Australian aid: promoting prosperity, reducing poverty, enhancing stability, and aligns with the Government of Palau's development priorities.

Placing a high value on results, we will work with trusted partners to ensure development resources are effectively managed. We will also seek to mainstream climate action and disaster resilience, effectively address gender issues, and ensure people with disabilities participate in, and benefit from, our aid program.

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