Budget

2. Country and Regional Programs

Approximately 66 per cent of total Australian aid is delivered through country and regional programs. This section provides details of our major country and regional programs.

Total estimated Australian Official Development Assistance (ODA) to each country is calculated as the sum of:

  • direct bilateral assistance through an AusAID country program1 (labelled as "Country") plus
  • an estimate of the amount of AusAID regional2 and global3 expenditure that can be attributed to the country (labelled as "Regional/Global") plus
  • ODA-eligible expenditure by Australian government departments other than AusAID (labelled as "OGDs") that can be attributed to the country.4

This part of the Ministerial Budget Statement contains more information than in previous years. Linking to the Comprehensive Aid Policy Framework (CAPF), most regional pages contain information on indicative expenditure in 2012‑13 and also estimated expenditure by 2015-16 as set out in the four-year budget strategy.

2.1. The Pacific

Overview

Australia's aid in the Pacific is achieving results. Our support is helping more children to complete their education and reducing the incidence of diseases such as malaria.

The core principles for Australia's engagement with the countries and peoples of the region are outlined in the Port Moresby Declaration (March 2008): mutual respect, mutual responsibility, a focus on results, and working together to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Since 2008, Australia has signed 11 Partnerships for Development with individual Pacific governments. The Partnerships embed the principles of the Port Moresby Declaration in each bilateral relationship and set out joint commitments and actions to accelerate development and make a real difference to people's lives.

The Cairns Compact on Strengthening Development Coordination in the Pacific (also now known as the 'Forum Compact') was agreed by Pacific Islands Forum Leaders at the 2009 Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) meeting and endorsed by all donor partners to the Pacific, except China. The Compact aims to accelerate progress towards the MDGs by improving the effectiveness of all development resources in the Pacific. This means ensuring Pacific island countries (PICs) lead the setting of national development priorities, improving coordination among donors and reducing the number of small, administratively cumbersome programs.

Development progress in the Pacific has been mixed and the region as a whole is off‑track to achieve the MDGs by 2015. Most PICs are small and remote with high cost structures and few economies of scale. In most countries there are relatively few income earning opportunities — fisheries, tourism, remittances and mining. Private sectors are small, government institutions lack capacity and infrastructure is poor. The region lags behind comparable developing countries in terms of health and education indicators and these are under further pressure from fast growing populations, especially in Melanesia. Climate change will also affect PICs more than most, notably through more extreme weather patterns. This limits the pace at which progress can be made with development assistance.

Over the next four years Australia anticipates increasing assistance to the Pacific region by around 37 per cent, from $1.17 billion in 2012‑13 to an indicative level of $1.60 billion by 2015-16. The Pacific region will remain the second largest recipient of Australian aid, after East Asia.

Within the Pacific region, Melanesian countries (Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu) will remain the largest recipients of our aid in 2012‑13. However, in recognition of the growing stability in Solomon Islands, we will reduce funding through the Regional Assistance Mission and increase our bilateral efforts. We will expand our aid to the Pacific micro-states (Kiribati, Tuvalu and Nauru) because of the particular development challenges they face as a result of their small size, remoteness and lack of natural resources. In other PICs, Australian aid increases will be modest.

Estimated ODA by strategic goal in 2012‑13

Estimated ODA ($m)
(2012‑13 to 2015-16)

Saving lives 16%

Estimated ODA ($m) - (2012-13 to 2015-16)

Promoting opportunities for all 22%
Sustainable economic development 19%
Effective governance 35%
Humanitarian and disaster response 1%
Cross-cutting 7%
Total 100%

Our aid efforts in PICs and ongoing policy dialogue aim to deliver results for poor communities in education, health, law and order, private sector and infrastructure development, gender equity and climate change adaptation. Drawing on our considerable experience, well-established presence and aid management systems, we will expand recent achievements, which have included:

  • supporting an additional 120,522 school enrolments in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu in 2010. In Papua New Guinea this has led to an increase in basic education net enrolment rates from 52.9 per cent in 2007 to 74.9 per cent in 2010;
  • providing improved access to clean water and sanitation facilities in communities across Solomon Islands, for 17,600 people in 2010 and an additional 14,295 people in 2011;
  • supporting free vaccinations for 64,984 people in typhoid hotspots in Fiji, in response to the declaration of a public health emergency typhoid outbreak in 2010; and
  • reducing malaria cases in Vanuatu from around 74 cases per 1,000 people in 2003 to less than 26 cases per 1,000 people today. The Ministry of Health is working to wipe out the disease completely from the province of Tafea, where the prevalence rate is now only 0.05 per cent of the provincial population. In Solomon Islands, Australia's aid has supported a reduction in malaria cases from 199 per 1,000 people in 2003 to less than 50 cases per 1,000 people today.

Estimated ODA to the Pacific in 2012-13: $1,170.9 million

Estimated ODA to the Pacific in 2012-13: $1,170.9 million

New Initiative: Overcoming Poverty and Building Stability in the Pacific (AusAID)

The Government will invest an additional $384.5 million over four years to overcome poverty and build stability in the Pacific. The additional funding will improve health and higher-education in Melanesia, strengthen the delivery of basic services and economic management in the micro-states of Nauru, Kiribati and Tuvalu, and help governments and communities across the Pacific plan for and deal with the impacts of climate change. This new funding will:

  • train 500 midwives in Papua New Guinea, meaning that an additional 6,000 births in the country will be supervised;
  • immunise an additional 41,000 children across the Pacific;
  • improve the reliability of potable water to households in Kiribati, with 60,000 people supplied with 15 litres of drinkable water per day;
  • increase the percentage of people in Papua New Guinea in need of HIV retroviral drugs who receive those drugs from 59 per cent in 2010, to 80 per cent in 2015, with a particular emphasis on reducing mother-to-child transmission of the virus;
  • refurbish 75 schools across Nauru, Kiribati and Tuvalu;
  • support 4,000 young people across the Pacific and Papua New Guinea to finish their education with recognised qualifications and skills for the workforce; and
  • increase higher education enrolment rates for students with disabilities.

New Initiative: Enhancing Policing in the Pacific (AFP)

The Government will invest an additional $97.1 million over four years to boost Australia's policing partnerships in the Pacific. Funding directed through the Australian Federal Police and Attorney-General's Department will improve the effectiveness of, and public confidence in policing agencies across the Pacific including Papua New Guinea, improving security and development opportunities in our region.

Country programs

PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Papua New Guinea flag

Australia is the largest donor to Papua New Guinea (PNG) and currently contributes around 26 per cent of PNG's total development expenditure and 12 per cent of PNG's overall revenue. In the past year, development assistance has supported achievements including the delivery of 1.5 million textbooks to over 3,600 schools, maintenance of 2,152 kilometres of national roads and highways and reduced the incidence of malaria by 10 per cent since 2009. Despite sustained economic growth in recent years, PNG remains one of the poorest countries in the Pacific. PNG is not expected to meet any of the MDGs by 2015. Delivery of services such as health and education is constrained by governance issues, law and order problems and challenging geography. Australia's assistance is implemented through the PNG‑Australia Partnership for Development, which focuses on improving health, education and transport and strengthening law and justice. Australia will focus over the next four years on achieving results in health, education (including higher education), law and justice, and transport infrastructure. Australia has a strong interest in PNG's sustainable development and stability due to our shared border and shared history.


Strategic Goals Australia's response
SAVING LIVES
Australia's goal in PNG is to reduce the number of women dying from pregnancy-related complications and the number of children under five dying from preventable causes. PNG has a high maternal mortality rate, with only 40 per cent of births being supervised by trained health workers. While child survival rates have increased over the past decade, progress has stagnated. PNG also has high HIV prevalence rates, at around 0.9 per cent of the population.5 Infections are concentrated in Highlands and National Capital District. Problems include physical barriers to the delivery of health services, deteriorating health infrastructure and too few health workers. Australia will target support for maternal health, including increasing the proportion of births supervised by skilled birth attendants from 40 per cent in 2010 to 44 per cent in 2015 and improving the quality of midwifery education. Australia will purchase and distribute essential drugs to almost 3,000 health facilities across PNG as part of a broader and ongoing program of medical supply reform. Australia will continue to support vaccination of children particularly in districts with low levels of immunisation coverage and consequently, high levels of early childhood mortality. By 2015, we aim to increase the proportion of children receiving three doses of pentavalent vaccine from 53 to 80 per cent, and boost measles vaccination from 50 to 80 per cent. Australia will respond to HIV in PNG by increasing access to testing for sexually transmitted infections and HIV and supporting the availability of condoms, especially to those most at risk.
PROMOTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL
Australian support for PNG's efforts to achieve universal basic education has contributed to an increase in enrolment rates from 52.9 per cent in 2007, to 74.9 per cent in 2010. Ongoing challenges include limited access to schools for children living in remote areas, and a lack of skills and poor attendance of many teachers. The PNG Government's policy of tuition fee-free education up to Year 10, which began in 2012, is expected to increase enrolments. Whilst this is a positive development, it will place pressure on class sizes, learning materials, infrastructure and teachers. Australia will jointly fund the abolition of school fees for the first three grades of basic education. This support began in 2010‑11 and is helping PNG achieve fee-free education to Year 10. In 2012, Australia will finish distributing more than 1.6 million textbooks to more than 3,600 schools. A school infrastructure support program will recommence in 2012, constructing the first of 1,100 classrooms and 450 teacher houses. In response to a review of PNG universities, Australia will increase support for higher education, targeting education quality. Australia will continue to provide scholarships for Papua New Guineans to study in Australia, ranging from diploma to PhD level. Australia will also fund up to 20 awards (2012‑13 to 2016-17) for young rural women and men to undertake teacher education at undergraduate level in PNG institutions.
SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
PNG is experiencing its longest period of economic growth since independence, largely driven by resource revenues. However, with most of the population living in remote and rural areas and with the country's challenging geography, sustainable economic development is constrained. Transport infrastructure is crucial for PNG's economic development, as it allows people to get their products to market, and is needed for the delivery of basic services and access to education. Australia will maintain more than 2,150 kilometres of national roads and highways, including a key section of the Highlands Highway from Lae to Goroka, and the Bougainville east coast trunk road. Australia will also continue supporting improved transport safety, including in the maritime and aviation sectors. Australia is helping the Government of PNG to manage its resource projects to benefit all Papua New Guineans, including by providing specialist assistance to establish the laws and regulatory frameworks to effectively manage the LNG project and associated Sovereign Wealth Fund, and provide scholarship opportunities for PNG officials to undertake relevant post-graduate training.
EFFECTIVE GOVERNANCE
Limited public service capacity has hindered PNG's ability to deliver services to its people. Poor law and order and limited access to justice remain significant problems. Australia will help develop PNG's public sector, increasing public accountability and strengthening financial management. Australia is also helping strengthen democratic governance and will help provide support for the holding of elections in 2012. Australia will continue its support to improve crime prevention, prosecutions, policing, legal aid, prisons and courts.

SOLOMON ISLANDS

Solomon Island flag

Solomon Islands is a country of more than half a million people spread across an archipelago of over 900 islands. Solomon Islands is ranked 142 out of 187 countries in the United Nations 2011 Human Development Index and remains one of the poorest countries in the Pacific.6 An estimated 23 per cent of the population live below the poverty line. The country is still recovering from the impact of internal conflict that resulted in the deployment of the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) in 2003. RAMSI is a peacebuilding and development partnership between the Solomon Islands Government and 15 contributing countries across the Pacific region. Development activities under RAMSI are led by an AusAID development coordinator. Australia also provides bilateral assistance in sectors not covered by RAMSI through the Solomon Islands‑Australia Partnership for Development, which focuses on improving education, health, infrastructure and livelihoods and addressing economic reform challenges.

Australia is the largest donor to Solomon Islands. Our assistance has supported improved service delivery in health and education (including support for more than 100,000 rural people to access safe water and sanitation and helping 145,000 young Solomon Islanders to attend school through funding to allow tuition fee-free education), maintenance of 270 kilometres of roads and helped more than 2,700 cocoa farmers to increase cocoa production and improve livelihoods. Security has been restored and economic growth has improved since RAMSI started. In 2012‑13, we will increase funding through the bilateral program, alongside planning for the transition of high priority development programs currently carried out under RAMSI to management under Australia's bilateral aid program from 2013‑14.

Strategic goals Australia's response
SAVING LIVES
In Solomon Islands, 67 per cent of people can reach a health clinic in less than one hour. Eighty‑six per cent of births are managed by a skilled birth attendant.7 With support from Australia and other donors, the incidence of malaria in the Solomon Islands has been reduced by 75 per cent since 2003. However, the under‑five mortality rate is static at 36 per 1,000 live births and the maternal mortality rate of 140 per 100,000 is higher than the target for 2015 of 87 per 100,000. There is poor hygiene and limited access to water and sanitation, but improvements have been made in sanitation facilities. Growing rates of non‑communicable diseases, such as diabetes and cancer, add to the disease burden. Australian support will help improve the management of childhood illness to provide oral rehydration to 90 per cent of children with diarrhoea and treat 70 per cent of suspected cases of childhood pneumonia with antibiotics by 2015. Australia will help to increase exclusive breastfeeding from 57 per cent8 to 90 per cent of 0‑6 month olds by 2015, and to achieve national measles immunisation coverage of 95 per cent by 2015. We will install 30 village water and sanitation projects and provide community education about hygiene in rural communities, improving access to clean water and sanitation for 15,000 people in 2013.
PROMOTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL
Access to primary education is relatively high at over 90 per cent. The Solomon Islands Government allocates a quarter of the national budget to education. However, the quality of education remains a major concern and fewer than half of primary school students reach a minimum standard of literacy. There are a large number of untrained primary school teachers. There are currently no women in parliament. In 2012‑13, Australia will help an estimated 150,000 children stay in school by supporting tuition fee-free basic education. We will provide equipment to all 207 junior secondary schools and support the training of 1,500 unqualified primary school teachers. Australia will increase the number of tertiary scholarships, so that 54 new students can access tertiary education at Australian and Pacific regional institutions in 2013. The total number of students on scholarships overall will reach 172. Students will study in areas which support development priorities agreed under the Solomon Islands‑Australia Partnership for Development. Our support will help more than 400 survivors of domestic and family violence in 2012‑13. Through RAMSI, we will also support the Solomon Islands Government policy to increase representation of women in parliament.
SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
More than 80 per cent of Solomon Islanders live in rural areas, where infrastructure is poor.9 Agriculture is the main source of rural employment and livelihoods and many Solomon Islanders rely on subsistence agriculture for family food security. Agriculture is one of the country's main export earners, with cocoa, copra and palm oil the most significant commodities. Economic growth is constrained by limited transport, energy and telecommunications infrastructure. In 2012‑13, Australia will help around 3,000 farm households improve crop and livestock production, conserve soil resources and increase their incomes. We will support the maintenance and rehabilitation of 370 kilometres of key roads and bridges and build two wharves in rural areas in 2012‑13. We will provide 80,000 person work days10 to help boost incomes, through labour‑based road maintenance. Under RAMSI, Australian Government departments, including the Treasury, will develop the capacity of officials in the Solomon Islands Ministry of Finance and Treasury to make sound policies for economic growth.
EFFECTIVE GOVERNANCE
Governance in Solomon Islands is stable, but remains fragile. The last two years saw stability in both budget and foreign reserves and an improvement in its World Bank debt distress rating from red to yellow.11 Solomon Islands increased 17 positions in the World Bank 'Ease of Doing Business' rankings to 74th out of 183 countries.12 However, there are few ways for the people to hold the government accountable, or to influence how public monies are spent. The 2011 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index ranked Solomon Islands 120 out of 183 countries.13 The High Court disposed of 437 cases in 2011, compared to 180 in 2009, but the number of cases is increasing, as is the backlog.14 In 2012‑13, with RAMSI support, the Solomon Islands Government will implement a public financial management roadmap, introduce new procurement procedures and pursue legislation to improve public financial management, audit and customs management. Additional aid funding is available through Australia's performance‑linked aid program, as an incentive for Solomon Islands to meet agreed reform milestones. We will assist the Institute of Public Administration to deliver professional training to over 1,100 civil servants in 2012‑13. With RAMSI support, in 2012‑13 the justice sector will aim to decrease average remand times from 8.2 months15 to 7.5 months and keep re‑offender rates at around 10 per cent.

VANUATU

Vanuatu flag

Australia is the largest donor to Vanuatu and the country relies heavily on Australian aid (equivalent to around 40 per cent of the national budget) to support the delivery of basic services to those most in need. Australian aid has helped remove school fees for Years 1-6 leading to 3,000 more children attending school in 2010 compared with 2009. Australian assistance has reduced malaria cases by more than half since 2003, and Tafea Province (population 32,549) is on track to be malaria-free by 2014. Many people in Vanuatu live without access to basic health, education, infrastructure and employment opportunities. Delivering basic services, such as health and education, to approximately 250,000 people spread across more than 80 islands is expensive and challenging for a small country. Although the economy is expanding, income-earning opportunities are limited for most people. Vanuatu is off‑track to achieve the MDGs for gender equality and environmental sustainability and has achieved mixed progress against other MDGs, including poverty and hunger, universal primary education and maternal health. 16 Australia's assistance is implemented through the Vanuatu‑Australia Partnership for Development, which focuses on improving education, health, infrastructure, economic governance and law and justice. Australia also provides support for land management and for civil society organisations.


Strategic goals Australia's response
SAVING LIVES
Children and babies still die in Vanuatu from preventable diseases and conditions. Providing basic health services across many islands is difficult and expensive. In the outer provinces, as few as 32 births in every 100 are attended by a nurse or midwife.17 Only 42 per cent of children in Vanuatu are fully immunised.18 Australian assistance has led to a dramatic reduction in the number of people contracting malaria each year (from around 74 cases per 1,000 people in 2003 to less than 26 cases per 1,000 people today), but the challenge remains to lower this incidence even further.19 In 2012‑13, Australia will continue its support to strengthen the ongoing delivery of health services. This will include upgrading 30 health facilities which serve around 170,000 people. Assistance will also continue towards the reduction of malaria in Vanuatu. By 2014, our aim is that Tafea province (population 32,549) will be malaria-free.
PROMOTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL
Australian assistance has helped Vanuatu increase the enrolment rate of primary school students from 80 to 88 per cent, but progress is still needed to achieve universal primary education by 2015.20 The quality of education is a major problem in Vanuatu. At the end of Year Three, only about two in 10 students are able to read and those students understand only 80 per cent of what they read.21 Only 12.6 per cent of students who start secondary school complete it.22 Australia will support the preparation and introduction of a new national curriculum for kindergarten to Year Three, improving the quality of education for 24,000 children in 2012‑13. Australian assistance will also provide pre-service training for over 200 teachers and expand facilities at Vanuatu's only teaching college. In 2012, 133 scholarships will be provided for students to study at local, regional and Australian universities and colleges, while 268 ongoing students will be supported.
SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Vanuatu lacks basic infrastructure across the island chain. Most of the country's 1,800 kilometres of road are in disrepair.23 Electricity prices are amongst the highest in the world, while access to power in rural areas is amongst the lowest, at 17 per cent of households. Effective implementation of regulatory reform is needed to ensure both energy and telecommunications are accessible to poor people. By the end of 2012, 157 kilometres of road will have been rehabilitated. Upon completion, this project will have provided 105,000 days of work for people in remote communities and increased vehicle access to 10 per cent of the unsealed road network. Australian assistance will support improvements to electricity and telecommunication systems. By 2015, 29,500 rural households across Vanuatu will have increased access to electricity under the Vanuatu Energy Road Map.
EFFECTIVE GOVERNANCE
Challenges in governance lie at the heart of the service delivery problems facing Vanuatu. Public financial management is weak. Although Vanuatu is relatively safe, the justice system is weak, conviction rates are generally low, and the Vanuatu Police Force relies on Australian assistance to maintain its operations. Vanuatu ranks 77 out of 178 in the world in terms of perceived corruption.24 The quality of statistics is improving, but more work is needed to track results against the health and education MDGs. Introduced over 2012‑13, a new integrated government information management system funded by Australia, will bring all agencies onto a single IT system and improve transparency and accountability of government activities. In 2012‑13, Australian support will ensure six new police posts are built in rural areas, while a new mobile police unit will extend the reach of the police on the island of Efate. To expand skills and ensure police are meeting the needs of the people, 30 constables will undertake a 'Diploma of Policing' and 140 communities will receive crime prevention training.

SAMOA

Papua New Guinea flag

Samoa's long-term reform efforts have enabled it to sustain relatively strong economic growth over the last decade compared to other remote island economies, although not all Samoans have benefited equally. Samoa's small size, limited natural resources, narrow economic base and distance to major markets make it vulnerable to global economic fluctuations and limit its growth potential. Samoa is on track to meet or exceed key MDGs. Hunger is virtually non‑existent and net primary enrolment is near universal. However, basic needs poverty has risen to affect over one in four households and there is mixed progress on gender equality, maternal and child health and combating non‑communicable diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. Australia is Samoa's largest development partner. Australia's assistance is implemented through the Samoa-Australia Partnership for Development, which focuses on improving quality and access to education, improving primary health services, adaptation to climate change and strengthening public sector reform and law and justice systems.

Strategic goals Australia's response
SAVING LIVES
Samoa faces rapidly rising rates of non‑communicable diseases such as coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke. Up to 85 per cent of the Samoan population is obese or overweight, one of the highest rates in the world. Health workforce shortages continue to impair Samoa's ability to deliver quality health services. In 2012‑13, Australia will help to reduce the rates of non-communicable diseases and improve access to primary health care in Samoa. We will support the construction of eight new rural and central health facilities, provide equipment and hands-on training to 50 health professionals, and improve the information available to health policy makers. By 2015-16, Australian support will have led to significant improvements in health care facilities and better trained health workers.
PROMOTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL
Net enrolment in primary education increased to 97 per cent in 2008 from 92 per cent in 2002. However, secondary school attrition rates are significant with only two thirds of students completing secondary schooling. Despite high enrolment rates, there are concerns regarding the quality of education. In 2009, 56 per cent of Year Six students were assessed as at risk of poor outcomes in English literacy, and 48 per cent of students were assessed as at risk in numeracy.25 In 2012‑13, we will improve access to education in Samoa by enabling all of Samoa's 37,000 primary school students to attend school without school fees. We will help improve the quality of learning at 167 primary schools by providing better education resources and materials. Australia will continue to support students with disabilities to access quality education, by providing tailored learning materials and teacher training. Australia will provide scholarships to 153 students to study at Australian and Pacific regional universities.
EFFECTIVE GOVERNANCE
The Samoan Government continues to demonstrate leadership of public financial management reform, macro-economic reform and budget discipline. The government has liberalised the telecommunications sector, reformed public financial management systems, made state‑owned enterprises more accountable and has committed to reducing government debt to strengthen economic resilience. In 2012‑13, Australia will support ongoing reform to state-owned enterprises, and improvements in the Samoan Government procurement and audit systems. We will also strengthen Parliament's critical role in a democratic system, by providing training and resources for members of the national legislative assembly.

FIJI

Fiji flag

Fiji has had a military government since the elected civilian government was ousted by a coup in December 2006. In 2009, the military regime abrogated the constitution. The actions of the regime have negatively affected the country's development. The economy contracted between 2006 and 2011, when growth returned to an estimated 2 per cent.26 Before the coup Fiji was on track to achieve most of the MDGs. However, the pace of progress towards maternal and child health will need to increase dramatically if Fiji is to reach its targets by 2015. Fiji is off‑track to meet the MDG for poverty. The incidence of rural poverty increased from 40 per cent in 2002 to 43 per cent in 2008 and in some areas over 50 per cent of the population live below the poverty line.27 Australia is Fiji's largest bilateral aid donor and remains committed to helping the people of Fiji. In 2010, with Australian support, 90 rural health facilities were fitted with solar panels, to ensure a continuous power supply to safely store vaccines and pharmaceuticals, and achieved a 95 per cent immunisation rate for key vaccines, including tuberculosis, measles, hepatitis B, polio, diphtheria and tetanus. Australia will double the AusAID country program to Fiji from $18.6 million in 2011‑12 to $36 million by 2013‑1428 and increase its assistance to poor and disadvantaged communities through improved access to basic health and education services, and creating economic opportunities for vulnerable communities.

Strategic goals Australia's response
SAVING LIVES
Maternal mortality, infant mortality and under-five mortality rates in Fiji are all well below the MDG targets. Infant mortality rates have barely improved since 1990.29 Non-communicable diseases are an increasingly prevalent cause of illness and death and are at epidemic levels in Fiji.30 Diabetes now affects more than 16 per cent of the population.31 Under the expanded bilateral program, our assistance in 2012‑13 will upgrade and refurbish 17 sub-divisional hospitals and urban health centres, many of which have fallen into disrepair. We will provide training opportunities for Fiji's medical professionals whose numbers have been depleted due to an early retirement policy and an increasing brain drain. We will also fund the introduction of three new vaccines for over 30,000 children: the human papilloma virus, rotavirus for children under five and pneumococcal.
PROMOTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL
Around 6,000, or 4 per cent, of children aged 6-14 years do not attend school each year. Education expenditure as a proportion of total expenditure has been declining in recent years, dropping from 19.4 per cent in 2005 to 12.3 per cent in 2012.32 Fiji's Ministry of Education has reported increasing drop-out rates at both the primary and secondary levels. The maintenance of school buildings is severely under-resourced, with many schools falling into disrepair. In 2012‑13, Australia will target the most disadvantaged schools in Fiji and promote increased access to education for all children with disabilities. Under the expanded bilateral program, Australia will support more of Fiji's disadvantaged schools, better target removal of financial barriers to primary education, improve infrastructure at up to 30 schools, and strengthen curriculum and performance reporting benefitting an estimated 6,000 students. The number of scholarships provided to Fiji citizens will increase from 40 in 2011‑12, to up to 80 in 2013‑14.
SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Economic decline since the 2006 coup is having an impact across the country. The ratio of private investment to GDP declined from an average 11.43 per cent in 2000 to 2 per cent in 2011. Growth is stagnant in rural Fiji, with poverty reaching more than 60 per cent in eight of 86 districts.33 Urban settlements are growing and about 12 per cent of Fiji's population live in squatter settlements.34 A chronic lack of investment means jobs are scarce, particularly for youth and vulnerable groups. In 2012‑13, Australia will help around 50,000 of Fiji's poor to access banking services, teach financial literacy in schools and connect poor people to commercial markets. We will support farmers to access export markets for their goods, provide commercial farmer training and support female vendors to access municipal markets. We will support at least 20 civil society organisations to deliver essential services including health, education, water and livelihood projects to 10,000 people across Fiji in 2012‑13.
EFFECTIVE GOVERNANCE
Fiji has been ruled by a military regime since 2006. In that time, people's rights to meet in public, to a free media and to elect their own representatives continue to be eroded. The Australian Government strongly condemned the removal of Fiji's elected government in 2006 and the abrogation of its constitution in 2009. Australia, together with the international community, has consistently called for Fiji's return to democracy and the rule of law. Australia's objective is to see a democratic Fiji resume its important role in the region and we are ready to support a genuine process for a return to democracy.

TONGA

Tonga flag

While Tonga remains on track to meet most MDGs, it faces high rates of non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, and provides poor quality education. Tonga is unlikely to meet the MDG target on gender equality, with particular concerns about women's economic empowerment and political representation. Nearly a quarter of Tongan households experience hardship, particularly in the outer islands.35 Employment options are lacking and remittances from overseas relatives have declined in recent years as a result of the global economic crisis impacting on the wages of Tongan family members living in the USA and elsewhere. Tonga's national budget is under severe pressure because of a decline in government revenue, slow economic growth and high levels of official debt to China.

Australia's assistance is implemented through the Tonga-Australia Partnership for Development, which focuses on developing the public sector, improving health and technical and vocational education and improving infrastructure, particularly roads. In 2011, upgrades to health centres improved access to services for 1,350 households. Five health centres also received equipment. In 2011, Australian funding supported the delivery of 110,000 textbooks to every student in Years 1 - 6 in Tonga in the four core subjects (maths, science, English and Tongan). Australia also supported key economic and public sector reforms, including development of a new Public Service Act, parliamentary reforms to support Tonga's democratisation of political representation, and Tonga's first Procurement Regulations.

Strategic goals Australia's response
SAVING LIVES
Non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and heart disease are Tonga's biggest health challenge. Tonga lacks sufficient skilled medical professionals, such as surgeons and anaesthetists, because of high levels of migration. Population growth in the capital Nuku'alofa is putting pressure on water, sanitation and solid waste services. The quality and reliability of water supply, particularly as the population increases, are growing problems. Solid waste services are available to less than 40 per cent of households across Nuku'alofa.36 Australia and Tonga have agreed to reduce the incidence of non-communicable diseases by 2015‑16, by reducing the prevalence of smoking and halting the increase in obesity. In 2012‑13, we will help support, maintain or refurbish up to 14 of Tonga's community health centres and support programs to promote physical exercise, better diets and awareness of the dangers of smoking. Australian medical professionals will provide surgical and anaesthetist services. Australia will partner with the Asian Development Bank to improve water, sanitation and solid waste management in Nuku'alofa towards the 2015-16 target of 100 per cent of households with access to water and waste services.
PROMOTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL
Although most children in Tonga complete primary education, a lack of teaching materials and poorly trained teachers mean low literacy and numeracy levels. Australia and New Zealand have been helping to develop a new curriculum, train teachers and provide grants and training to improve schools management. Australian support will target improved children's levels of literacy and numeracy, by continuing a roll-out of a new curriculum, improving and meeting minimum standards for educational and school management capability. Australia will award up to 40 Australian tertiary degree awards to study at regional or Australian institutions. Australia will also support the Tonga Institute of Education to improve the facilities and training for 50 untrained teachers from the non‑government and government school systems, and the upgrading of 15 untrained teachers.
SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Tonga has a target of delivering 50 per cent of energy by renewable means. Like many other small island states, Tonga is highly vulnerable to climate change. Potential impacts include the decline of coral reefs, changes to seasonal rainfall patterns affecting agriculture and water resources, increased erosion and increased risk of damage to infrastructure from cyclones and storm surges. In 2012‑13, Australia will continue to invest in transport and energy projects managed by the World Bank and Asian Development Bank. This includes maintaining road infrastructure, safety upgrades at ports and implementing a maritime coastal watch radio system to improve maritime safety. Australia will fund a number of projects to help Tonga transition its energy supply to 50 per cent from renewable sources. Australia will continue to fund reform of the Technical Vocational Education and Training system.
EFFECTIVE GOVERNANCE
Australia has worked closely with the World Bank to help Tonga identify a set of priority economic, budget and public financial management reforms. Australian technical assistance has been vital in helping Tonga to identify and undertake those reforms, and we have provided performance-linked aid as an incentive. In 2012‑13, Australia will continue to use performance‑linked aid as an incentive for Tonga to achieve policy reforms. Australian technical assistance will focus on improved revenue collection and expenditure management.

PACIFIC MICRO-STATES

KIRIBATI, NAURU AND TUVALU

KIRIBATI

Kiribati flag

Kiribati has a narrow and fragile economic base and has a small population spread across an exclusive economic zone of 3.5 million square kilometres.37 There are limited opportunities for economic growth and development and the Kiribati Government relies heavily on aid. Limited access to fresh water and high vulnerability to storm surges and rising sea levels add to the development challenges. High population growth coupled with limited employment opportunities could lead to increasing social problems. Kiribati's progress against the MDGs is mixed, with particularly poor progress against child and maternal mortality rates. Australia has a long standing program of support in Kiribati and is the country's major development partner. Australia's assistance is implemented through the Kiribati-Australia Partnership for Development which focuses on improving education standards and workforce skills, strengthening economic management and promoting economic growth.

Strategic goals Australia's response
PROMOTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL
Kiribati faces a number of challenges in delivering basic education. Management is inadequate, facilities are poor and cannot meet enrolment demands, teaching standards are low and curriculum reform is needed. Children in Kiribati who live with a disability have difficulty accessing schools and are not mainstreamed into public education. Youth unemployment is a major challenge. Very few of the 2,300 school leavers each year continue their education. Skills development through technical and vocational training is an increasing priority as it will help Kiribati to access regional and global labour markets, as well as address domestic skill shortages in the private and public sectors. We will improve the literacy and numeracy of 22,000 school-aged children at primary and junior secondary schools by 2015-16, by delivering a more relevant curriculum and professional development for 902 teachers. Australia will complete the rehabilitation of six primary schools in 2012‑13. Through our support, the School and Centre for Children with Special Needs, the only institution in Kiribati catering for disabled children, will continue providing education to Kiribati's most vulnerable. We will provide tertiary and vocational scholarships across sectors with human resource shortages, including nursing. In 2012, Australia will fund 28 new tertiary scholarships and 64 new vocational scholarships.
SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Kiribati has a poorly developed local economy, as a result of a narrow economic base and a large but underperforming public sector. Government expenditure drives the economy, providing two thirds of formal sector employment. Public enterprises, for example power and communications, have poor financial records and require government subsidies and loan guarantees to continue operating. Poor quality infrastructure adds to a difficult operating environment for private enterprises. As a low-lying atoll, Kiribati faces particular challenges resulting from storm surges, sea encroachment and increasingly low levels of freshwater supplies. Water supply is further affected by increasing saline intrusion in groundwater and prolonged periods of low rainfall. Australia is supporting improved economic governance by working with the Asian Development Bank to reform public enterprises in Kiribati, including reforms to generate higher revenue and reduce subsidies. In 2012‑13, Australia will support improvements to roads and water and sanitation. By 2015-16 these programs will contribute to a reduction in the reported cases of dysentery and diarrhoea (from more than 10,000 to 8,000). Support for telecommunications services is expected to result in a 75 per cent increase in telephone and internet coverage. Australian funds are also helping Kiribati adapt to climate change by protecting scarce freshwater supplies. Over the next four years, our assistance will improve the reliability of potable water to households in Kiribati, with 60,000 people receiving 15 litres of drinkable water per day. Funding will also support better management of new coastal infrastructure such as sea walls. This support will provide communities with access to clean and safe drinking water and strengthen public infrastructure to withstand the effects of extreme weather events.

NAURU

Nauru flag

Nauru's economy is hampered by high debt levels and limited revenue options. Public sector management is hampered by a lack of skilled and qualified people and critical infrastructure is dilapidated. Nauru is making mixed progress toward the MDGs. Education outcomes are improving but are still poor by international standards. Levels of non‑communicable diseases such as diabetes are among the highest in the world, and progress toward improving infant mortality rates and maternal health care is slow. Australia's assistance is implemented through the Nauru-Australia Partnership for Development, which focuses on improving education and healthcare, enhancing the effectiveness of the public service, improving the sustainability of power and water services and helping develop the private sector. Key results from the program in 2011 included continued support to maintain a 95 per cent immunisation rate for key vaccines and implementation of 2010 legislation making school attendance compulsory, raising net primary enrolment rates from 60 per cent in 2002 to 95 per cent in 2011.

Strategic goals Australia's response
SAVING LIVES
Seventy-four per cent of all deaths in Nauru can be attributed to non-communicable diseases.38 Nauru has one of the highest rates of diabetes in the world — more than 20 per cent of the adult population.39 Low nutrition standards due to a lack of locally produced fresh fruit and vegetables, low participation rates in sport and physical activity, and high-risk lifestyle choices are causes. Australia has been working with Nauru to address these issues. While progress is slow, our support is expected to produce tangible improvements over the next 5-10 years. In 2012‑13, Australia will support activities which improve nutrition, promote involvement in sporting events and support policies, legislation and public education campaigns to reduce alcohol and tobacco consumption. Funding for up to four medical scholarships each year will increase the number of Nauruan doctors and nurses. Australia will provide and maintain medical equipment and improve health infrastructure.
PROMOTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL
With only 68 per cent of those enrolled in schools regularly attending classes, literacy and numeracy outcomes are well below benchmarked standards and a significant proportion of Nauruan students are unable to qualify for further tertiary study.40 While literacy levels have been improving marginally, numeracy levels remain a major challenge. Australia will help increase regular school attendance rates to 75 per cent or better. Australia will ensure 80 per cent of teachers have relevant teaching qualifications by 2013. Support for a school building refurbishment and maintenance program covering all 10 schools in Nauru will continue to improve the learning environment. Australia will support training for around 300 students enrolled in trade training courses at the Nauru Secondary School. With Australian assistance, both primary and secondary enrolment rates will advance toward the 100 per cent target with around 37 per cent of secondary students participating in technical and vocational training by 2015.
SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
With extremely high debt levels and domestic revenue making up only around 40 per cent of the national budget, Nauru relies almost entirely on donor contributions to fund basic services for the community. 41 While Nauru has been successfully reducing its debt burden over recent years, revenue options remain limited to fisheries and phosphate mining. Both of these industries are vulnerable to external influences, such as currency fluctuations, global economic trends, market variations and adverse weather conditions. Australia will support the new Government Revenue Office to improve revenue collection methods and deliver a more effective and equitable tax system likely to add around $1 million to the national budget in 2013. Changes to the way fishing license fees are calculated will result in increases to related revenue of more than 50 per cent. The introduction of new technologies in the utilities sector will see the cost of fuel and oil used in generating electricity reduced by around 30 per cent annually.
EFFECTIVE GOVERNANCE
Poor economic management and weak governance on the part of past Governments have led to high debt levels, the loss of cash reserves, the demise of local banking and insurance services, the deterioration of critical national infrastructure and a failure to build public management capacity. While there have been major improvements in governance and public sector management over the past five years, Nauru still lacks many of the systems and skills necessary for sustained and effective public sector governance and strong financial management. In 2012‑13, Australia will help improve Nauru's public sector governance, funding up to 12 senior management positions. This will put skilled people in place to manage major government departments, such as the Department of Finance. These personnel will develop new policies and procedures and build the skills of local people. They will focus on managing national finances, improving the transparency and efficiency of procurement processes, strengthening revenue, enhancing audit and improving reporting to the public.

TUVALU

Tuvalu flag

Tuvalu is a small island state with few economic opportunities and a high dependence on development assistance. It is constrained by distance from economic markets and its small size. Tuvalu is vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters and has achieved mixed results in respect of the MDGs. Tuvalu is off-track to meet the MDG on eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, but is on track to meet the MDGs for universal primary education, reducing child mortality, and improving maternal health. As the largest donor, Australian assistance is vital to the delivery of basic services in Tuvalu. Australia contributes to the Tuvalu Trust Fund, which underwrites the country's longer term economic viability. In 2010‑11 Australian assistance enabled 85 per cent of residents on Funafuti, the main island of Tuvalu, to access clean water through the provision of new water tanks. Australia also provided 150 tanks to more than 3,000 school children in all outer islands primary schools and two secondary schools. Funding also provided essential text books and stationary for pre-school and primary students. The Tuvalu-Australia Partnership for Development focuses on supporting the Tuvalu Trust Fund and improved financial management and planning, supporting adaptation measures to increase Tuvalu's resilience to the impacts of climate change and helping Tuvalu build a skilled and educated workforce.

Australian ODA to Tuvalu is estimated to be $11.1 million in 2012‑13.

COOK ISLANDS

Cook Islands flag

The Cook Islands is on track to meet most MDGs. The country's development is challenged by its narrow economic base, limited natural resources, fragile environment, shortage of skilled labour and relatively remote location. The economy, which is underpinned by tourism and marine resources, remains vulnerable to natural disasters. This was demonstrated by a drought in 2011 and Cyclone Pat in 2010, which caused significant damage to key infrastructure. The Cook Islands is a self-governing country in free association with New Zealand. Australia's aid to the Cook Islands is delivered by New Zealand through a harmonised aid program. In 2012‑13, Australia will continue to support this program, as it remains the most effective and efficient way to deliver aid to the Cook Islands.

Australian ODA to the Cook Islands is estimated to be $3.7 million in 2012‑13.

NIUE

Niue flag

Niue, a self-governing state in free association with New Zealand, faces development constraints due to its relatively remote location, small size, limited natural resources, and susceptibility to natural disasters. Niue also has a shortage of skilled professionals and entrepreneurial expertise caused by migration. The country is on track to meet nearly all of the MDGs by 2015. However, it remains dependent on overseas aid to maintain its long term economic and social development. Australia's development assistance is closely aligned to the New Zealand aid program. Australia's aid program to Niue is focused on education, economic stability, climate adaptation and water management.

Australian ODA to Niue is estimated to be $4.5 million in 2012‑13.

TOKELAU

Tokelau flag

Tokelau's small size, limited natural resources and isolation limit its potential for sustainable economic growth and development. Tokelau is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and natural disasters. It is on track to meet the key MDG targets of universal primary education and reduced child and maternal mortality. However, Tokelau relies on external assistance to maintain basic services and meet its large-scale infrastructure needs. As Tokelau is a non-self-governing territory of New Zealand, Australia's moderate aid program is harmonised with New Zealand's program. Australian aid supports Tokelau's ongoing economic stability through contributions to the Tokelau International Trust Fund and assists Tokelau in adapting to the likely impacts of climate change.

NORTH PACIFIC

2012-13 Estimate: $9.6 million

FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA
The FSM-Australia Partnership for Development focuses on improving economic governance, development coordination and environmental management. With the assistance of an AusAID‑funded Tax and Revenue Advisor, FSM raised an additional AUD500,000 of revenue in 2011. Pending the successful progression of tax reform legislation through Congress, in 2012‑13 Australia will play a lead role in establishing a Unified Revenue Authority. Australia is also providing assistance to review and update legislation to help protect FSM's fragile environment. AusAID has helped enhance the capacity of FSM government agencies to undertake environmental compliance and enforcement activities through a recent series of training exercises and seminars. The Australian Volunteer Program will be reintroduced to FSM in 2012‑13, with the mobilisation of seven volunteers to support FSM-Australia Partnership for Development priorities.
REPUBLIC OF MARSHALL ISLANDS
The RMI-Australia Partnership for Development focuses on improving access to clean water and sanitation and improving energy efficiency, including through the increased use of renewable energy sources. Currently, the transport sector in Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) consumes 60 per cent of the country's energy. In 2012‑13, Australia will assist the Ministry of Resources and Development to introduce new regulations in the transport sector to improve efficiency. Australian aid is installing 1,700 prepay electricity meters to recover arrears and assist customers to budget for electricity usage. In the water sector, Australia will continue supporting the Government of RMI to develop and implement the National Water Policy. Australia has funded a further 220 household water tanks on Kwajalein Atoll, resulting in a tank for every household. The Australian Volunteer Program will be reintroduced to RMI in 2012‑13, with the mobilisation of six volunteers to support the RMI-Australia Partnership for Development priorities.
REPUBLIC OF PALAU
The Australia-Palau Partnership for Development focuses on improving education, clearing unexploded ordnance and strengthening health sector management. Australian funding for education will support a curriculum update to the English-as-a-Second-Language teacher qualification delivered at the Palau Community College. Australia will also work with the Ministry of Education to fund teacher scholarships. Australia is the lead donor in Palau supporting clearance of unexploded ordnance from World War II. In 2012‑13, Australian funding will allow for a clearance team to work on Koror and Peleliu Island. The Australian Volunteer Program will be reintroduced to Palau in 2012‑13, with the mobilisation of six volunteers to support the Australia-Palau Partnership for Development priorities.

 

PACIFIC REGIONAL PROGRAMS

2012-13 Estimate: $141.0 million

To complement individual bilateral activities, Australia supports a number of programs that address the major challenges faced by the Pacific on a regional basis.

Strategic goals Australia's response
SAVING LIVES
Health systems in the Pacific are often weak because of insufficient numbers of trained health workers, inadequate financing and planning for the health sector and unreliability in the procurement, supply and distribution of essential drugs. It is an added challenge for health services to reach the small, highly dispersed populations that exist in many Pacific countries. In 2012‑13, Australia will support regional health partners, such as the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the Fiji School of Medicine, to address major health challenges in the Pacific. These challenges include immunisation, non-communicable diseases, HIV and sexually transmitted infections, health workforce constraints and the quality of specialised clinical services. Support will also assist countries to improve essential services by helping to build effective national health systems, and ensuring that health facilities are staffed by qualified health workers and resourced with essential drugs and medical equipment.
PROMOTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL
Pacific youth need the right skills and training to get jobs, whether at home or abroad. In 2011, the 42nd Pacific Island Forum Communiqué highlighted the need for more women leaders, to empower women who are leaders, and increase representation of women in legislatures.

Australia will support a second phase of the Australia-Pacific Technical College which provides Pacific Islanders with internationally recognised Certificate III and IV qualifications. By 2015, more than 6,600 students will have graduated. Australia will continue to support the University of the South Pacific, which currently has around 20,000 students, including the implementation of the University's 2013‑18 Strategic Plan. We will work with the South Pacific Board of Educational Assessments to improve literacy rates of primary school children and implement a pilot program to benchmark education results in the Pacific.

The Pacific Leadership Program will support UN Women in the Pacific, to equip women with the skills and knowledge to participate in democratic political leadership and to provide legislative assistance to address barriers to women's participation as political representatives.

SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Pacific island countries are generally experiencing only modest economic growth. Most are small and remote from each other and from major economic centres, which makes it difficult for them to compete economically. The only significant non‑aid long-term revenue opportunities are fisheries, mining, some agricultural products, tourism and services. Pacific island countries are vulnerable to natural disasters which are expected to become more frequent or extreme over coming years. In particular, climate change projections suggest more intense cyclones in some parts of the Pacific and rising sea levels.42

The Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access Program will help government and industry working groups in Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to secure access to international markets for priority agricultural exports. The program will also work with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community to help the region's exporters meet the regulatory requirements of trading partners, such as quarantine and food safety standards. Australia will support the Forum Fisheries Agency, Secretariat of the Pacific Community and national fisheries agencies, which are expected to increase economic returns to the region from fisheries resources.

From 1 July 2012, the Pacific Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme will transition to a long term program. It will be open to employers in the horticultural industry and seasonal workers from East Timor, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. It will be supported by the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship to ensure that worker protections are guaranteed.

Australia will assist vulnerable countries to plan for and adapt to the impacts of climate change, by improving food security, protecting water supplies and infrastructure, improving coastal zone management, and preparing for, and reducing the risks associated with, natural disasters.

EFFECTIVE GOVERNANCE
Improving the quality of governance throughout the region can be achieved with transparent, open and accountable policy making, a professional public sector, an executive arm of government accountable for its actions, responsible civil society participating in public affairs and respect for the rule of law. Within the public sector, the governance challenges faced by many Pacific island countries are exacerbated by limited resources and training, and by the magnitude of the development challenges. Providing effective policy advice to government, managing infrastructure and financial resources, overseeing the delivery of a range of services including effective aid coordination, while accounting for human resources development, places heavy demands on even the most capable of managers. Australia will continue to help Pacific island countries to improve public financial management, including through support to the IMF-led Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre. The Centre assists countries to diagnose, prioritise and implement appropriate policies, procedures and systems underpinning good practice in economic and financial management. This will include continued support for the Pacific Regional Audit Initiative, which aims to ensure that more than 70 per cent of available public accounts are audited in a timely fashion and to international standards. Through the Australian Federal Police, we will also work with Pacific island countries to promote community safety, stability and security through measures such as training and technical assistance, provision of critical law enforcement equipment and material, as well as advice and guidance on domestic legal regimes.
HUMANITARIAN AND DISASTER RESPONSE
Pacific island countries remain vulnerable to natural hazards, both meteorological (cyclones, floods, storm surges) and geophysical (earthquakes and volcanoes). Their small, highly dispersed populations and limited economies mean natural disasters can have a disproportionately high impact on their economies. A 2011 United Nations study ranked Vanuatu, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Fiji in the 20 countries most at risk of natural disasters.43 All Pacific island countries have National Disaster Management Offices as focal points for disaster risk management, but many operate with limited capacity. Australia will continue to respond to disasters in the Pacific when they occur and also assist countries to be better prepared to respond to disasters and reduce the risk to vulnerable communities. In 2012‑13, a new regional program will focus efforts on four high risk countries — Vanuatu, Tonga, Solomon Islands and Fiji. We will help identify risks and vulnerabilities and develop and implement community action plans in response. Australia will also provide core funding to the Secretariat of the Pacific Community for technical assistance and policy advice to assist Pacific island countries with disaster risk management.

2.2. East Asia

Overview

Over the next four years, Australia will become the largest bilateral grant donor to East Asia. East Asia is a region of primary national interest for Australia. As well as the close geographic proximity of Indonesia and East Timor, Australia has a very important stake in East Asia's broader economic and political future. Over 50 per cent of Australia's exports are concentrated in the region and around 80 per cent of our trade passes through its sea lanes. Around one in 10 Australian jobs is directly linked to East Asia's future stability and prosperity.44 Australia also has strong interests in working with East Asian countries to manage regional challenges such as human trafficking, emerging infectious diseases and water resource management.

Despite impressive economic growth and a decline in overall rates of extreme poverty, development progress in East Asia has been uneven between and within countries. Over 300 million people in East Asia live on less than US$1.25 a day.45 The proportion of the population living in absolute poverty is between one quarter and one third in Cambodia, Laos and East Timor.46 As one of the poorest countries in East Asia, Burma faces enormous development challenges. An estimated one quarter of Burma's 50 million people live in poverty.47 In the larger ASEAN economies of Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, growing inequality has the potential to impede future growth, erode progress against the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and undermine social and political stability. In Indonesia, half of the population, or around 120 million people, still live on less than US$2 a day.

Over the next four years, Australia anticipates increasing assistance to East Asia by around 48 per cent, from $1.32 billion in 2012‑13 to an indicative level of $1.95 billion by 2015-16. This will see East Asia remain the largest recipient of Australian aid and Indonesia the biggest bilateral program in the aid budget.

Estimated ODA by strategic goal in 2012‑13

Estimated ODA ($m)
(2012‑13 to 2015-16)

Saving lives 16%

Estimated ODA ($m) - 2012-12 to 2015-16

Promoting opportunities for all 34%
Sustainable economic development 26%
Effective governance 16%
Humanitarian and disaster response 4%
Cross-cutting 4%
Total 100%

Within the region, growth in assistance will be substantial in Indonesia, Burma, Cambodia and Laos where there is a high incidence of poverty and considerable opportunity for Australia to make a difference to the lives of poor people. Elsewhere in the region (East Timor, Vietnam and the Philippines) Australian aid will increase, although at a more modest pace.

Drawing on our considerable experience, well established presence and aid management systems, we will expand on recent achievements which have included:

  • helping more than 330,000 poor children attend school by constructing or extending more than 2,000 schools across Indonesia between 2005 and 2010;
  • helping to provide 2 million children in the Philippines with access to better quality education;
  • assisting 1.1 million households in Vietnam with improved sanitation facilities; and
  • improving food security for more than 25,000 East Timorese families.

Estimated ODA to East Asia in 2012-13: $1,321.2 million

Estimated ODA to East Asia in 2012-13: $1,321.2 million

New Initiative: Closing Development Gaps in East Asia

The Government will invest an additional $208.6 million over four years to increase incomes and boost health and education services for the poor in Burma, Cambodia and Laos, where around one third of people live in extreme poverty, and help vulnerable communities in Vietnam reduce the negative impacts of climate change:

  • in Burma, we will train 6,800 teachers and provide 220,000 students with basic school supplies and provide 700,000 boys and girls with school meals;
  • in Cambodia, our assistance will save lives by providing 8,000 women to receive improved antenatal, delivery and post natal care;
  • in Laos, Australia will help get an extra 47,000 children into school in the most disadvantaged regions; and
  • in Vietnam, up to 750,000 people will benefit from disaster-preparedness training, risk-management plans, and strengthened community infrastructure.

New Initiative: Extension of the AFP commitment to the United Nations Mission in East Timor

The Government will invest a further $3.5 million in 2012-13 to extend the AFP's 50-officer deployment to East Timor as part of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT). Funding will enable Australia's contingent to continue in East Timor.

Country programs

INDONESIA

Indonesia flag

Indonesia has achieved remarkable development progress over recent decades. However, it is still afflicted by poverty, and development has not been even. About 120 million people live on less than US$2 a day and are particularly vulnerable to shocks, such as an economic downturn or the effects of natural disasters. While Indonesia's progress towards the MDGs is positive, more work needs to be done to open up opportunities for the poor, to ensure all children receive a basic education, to improve health care and to build key infrastructure. Australia and Indonesia have a highly effective development partnership guided by the Australia-Indonesia Partnership Country Strategy 2008-13. Australia is the largest grant aid donor to Indonesia. Australian aid focuses on improving health and education outcomes, boosting economic growth, providing support to protect the poor and vulnerable and strengthening democracy, justice and governance. Maintaining and growing this partnership remains a high priority for Australia. Indonesia's prosperity, stability and growth are in the interests of both our nations as well as the broader region.

Strategic goals Australia's response
SAVING LIVES
An Indonesian woman is 30 times more likely to die in childbirth than an Australian woman and one in three children under the age of five suffers from stunting caused by malnutrition.48 The share of births attended by a skilled attendant in 2010 was 80 per cent at the national level, but this varied at the sub‑national level, from 51 per cent in Maluku to 98 per cent in Jakarta.49 Indonesia has one of the fastest growing HIV epidemics in South East Asia. In the Papua and West Papua provinces, HIV infection is increasing and has spread beyond commercial sex workers and injecting drug users to the general community. About 126 million people do not have access to a clean water source while about 118 million do not have adequate sanitation.50 By 2015-16, Australia will have helped approximately 4,500 villages gain better access to health care. We are helping tackle HIV through needle exchange, methadone and safe sex programs. Around 1.5 million syringes and 1.5 million condoms will have been distributed through these programs by 2015-16. By 2014-15, we will have connected 1.25 million people living in urban areas to piped water and sewerage systems. Payments under Australia's Debt to Health Swap with Indonesia will continue. Under this arrangement, the Australian Government cancels debt owed to it by the Indonesian Government, in exchange for Indonesia's investment in Global Fund programs to combat tuberculosis. The arrangement is managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Through the Australia‑Indonesia Partnership for Emerging Infectious Diseases — Animal Health 2010-14, we will also help Indonesia strengthen its animal health systems, including rapid detection and control of emerging infectious diseases, particularly animal diseases which could infect humans.
PROMOTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL
While an estimated 96 per cent of Indonesia's children are now enrolled for six years of primary school, only 75 per cent complete the full nine years of education.51 One quarter of Indonesia's 13‑15 year olds do not attend junior secondary school (years 7 to 9) because schools are too expensive, far away, or the quality of teaching is poor.52 There is also a need to assist Islamic schools, which educate more than 5 million Indonesian children a year and are often the only schools available to the poorest and most disadvantaged.53 Indonesia's performance on gender equality is improving overall, but is varied amongst the provinces. Although 50 per cent of Indonesian women are economically active, wage discrimination is still prevalent with some women in the poorest parts of Indonesia earning only 58 per cent of the average male worker's wage.54 Under the Australia-Indonesia Education Partnership, we will provide more Indonesian children with a good education by establishing 300,000 new school places by 2015-16. Schools constructed as part of the Partnership will all be accessible to children with disabilities. By 2015-16, we will improve school management by training 650,000 school principals, school supervisors and district government officials. Approximately 625 scholarships and fellowships are expected to be awarded in 2012. By 2015 we will have trained 55,000 women's savings and loans groups, resulting in about 540,000 borrowers, which will improve women's livelihood and security.
SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
In the last decade, Indonesia has experienced impressive economic growth but that has not generated enough jobs to allow the poor to move into more stable, formal employment. Many of these people live in rural areas. In 2010, 58 per cent of the nation's poor earned their main source of income from agricultural activities.55 Indonesia's poor infrastructure has affected the country's growth and foreign investment profile. Indonesia is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, including storm surges, floods and droughts which affect people, livelihoods and infrastructure. The country has one of the highest rates of deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions in the world, and faces the challenge of helping forest-dependent communities to find new livelihoods. Australia is helping Indonesia to address poverty reduction and critical infrastructure needs. By 2015-16, Australia's assistance to community development programs will have led to new or improved village infrastructure and income‑generating activities for up to 2.9 million rural poor. Australia will also assist about 300,000 farmers lift their incomes by at least 30 per cent by 2016-17. We will continue to help rehabilitate, upgrade and widen the national road network in nine provinces of eastern Indonesia. In 2012‑13, our climate change program will continue to support one of the world's most advanced large‑scale Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD+) demonstration activities in Central Kalimantan. We will help Indonesia develop a carbon accounting system and explore ways to adapt to climate change.
EFFECTIVE GOVERNANCE
Indonesia has seen improvements in political stability, accountability and government effectiveness since the 1999 transition to democracy, but the country still needs to improve control of corruption and strengthen the quality of public administration. Key priorities in economic governance include improving financial systems, international trade policies and economic policy coordination. There are also significant ongoing challenges in public financial management. Over the past decade, more and more public service delivery functions have been decentralised to sub‑national governments that often lack capacity to implement them efficiently and effectively. In 2011, 61 per cent of total national expenditure went to the districts.56 Building the public finance capacity of sub-national governments should be at the core of any attempt to improve public service delivery in Indonesia. By 2015-16, more than 300,000 officials will be trained in planning and budgeting, leading to better use of funding for service delivery. Australia will also provide assistance so that more than 180 civil society organisations are actively engaged in scrutinising how district budgets are used. Australia is building on successful post-tsunami work in Aceh through training and capacity building. This aims to encourage villagers to better interact with local governments, to make the local governments more responsive through improved administration, consultation and transparent budgeting.
HUMANITARIAN AND DISASTER RESPONSE
Indonesia is one of the world's most disaster-prone countries and experiences regular floods, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The cost of not being prepared for disasters can be catastrophic. People living in poverty in Indonesia are particularly vulnerable to disasters as they often are forced to live and work in poorly constructed buildings, in high-risk coastal areas or on land prone to regular flooding or landslides. The Australia-Indonesia Facility for Disaster Reduction has helped the Indonesian Government establish a real time earthquake impact estimation system that enables rapid estimates of the number of people potentially affected in a disaster. The Facility is working with Indonesia's largest faith‑based organisation and local governments to develop new disaster management laws in East Java, which will ensure district budgets incorporate plans for disaster management. This will provide more than 12 million people with an opportunity to be better protected from natural disasters including floods, tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanoes by the end of 2013.

VIETNAM

Vietnam flag

Strong growth combined with poverty reduction over the last few decades has enabled Vietnam to achieve middle income status. However, poverty persists, particularly in rural and remote ethnic communities — more than 33 million people in Vietnam live on less than US$2 a day. Vietnam continues to make good progress against most of the MDGs, but more effort is needed to halt and reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS and to give rural populations access to hygienic sanitation. Vietnam is a key regional player, owing to its geographic location and participation in major regional forums. A stable and growing Vietnam is clearly in line with Australia's national interest in promoting regional stability and prosperity. By continuing to support Vietnam's economic growth and integration, while in the process building people-to-people and institutional links, Australia will assist Vietnam maintain momentum on its transition to an industrialised country. Bilateral links between Australia and Vietnam date back to 1973, and have strengthened over time. Vietnam has significant absorptive capacity and Australia's aid program is increasingly partnering with other donors to maximise influence and effectiveness. Australian aid is guided by Australia's strategic approach to aid in Vietnam 2010-15, which focuses on human resource development through scholarships; economic integration, focusing on infrastructure and policy reforms; and environmental stability in the areas of water and sanitation, climate change and agricultural research.


Strategic goals Australia's response
SAVING LIVES
Vietnam will struggle to meet the rural sanitation MDG targets by 2015. Water-borne diseases from polluted water and inadequate sanitation conditions continue to have significant economic and health impacts on rural populations in Vietnam. In 2010, 75 per cent of the rural population had access to clean water and 52 per cent of rural households had access to hygienic latrines.57 Australia will continue to improve access to water and sanitation services in Vietnam. In 2012‑13, with Australian assistance, 80 per cent of the rural population will have access to clean water and 58 per cent of rural households will have access to hygienic latrines.
PROMOTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL
Education quality in Vietnam must improve to support its transition to an industrialised economy. Currently, only 14 per cent of tertiary level academic staff have doctorates.58 Improving the quality of education in Vietnam will help equip graduates with the skills necessary to meet market demand. This supports Vietnam's 2011-2020 plan for the development of human resources. Since resumption of development assistance in 1991, Australia has been improving the skills of Vietnam's workforce through our scholarships program. Building on this strong record, in 2012‑13 we will grant 247 scholarships for graduate study and around 80 fellowships for training and work attachments with Australian organisations. We are on track to meet our target to provide 1,380 postgraduate scholarships from 2010 to 2015, around 20 per cent of which will be for doctoral degrees.
SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
While Vietnam continues to grow at an impressive rate, it is important to maintain growth that brings benefit to all. Poor infrastructure, particularly major transport corridors and rural connections to these corridors, remains a challenge. To support its ongoing integration with the global economy, Vietnam needs to reform its institutions. Evidence‑based reform will enable Vietnam to capitalise on opportunities and effectively manage challenges that come with economic integration, like exposure of non-competitive sectors of its economy to global market forces. A shortage of public sector resources to fund pressing infrastructure needs means Vietnam must find ways to access private sector financing. Vietnam is extremely vulnerable to climate change and is already beginning to feel the impacts. Australian investments in rural transport infrastructure are improving access to markets for farmers and the poor. Detailed design of Australia's flagship project, the Cao Lanh Bridge, will be completed in 2012‑13. This major piece of infrastructure is a critical part of a transport link from Ho Chi Minh City down through the Mekong Delta and ultimately through Cambodia to Bangkok. It will link people and markets in the Mekong Delta to the rest of South East Asia, and service 170,000 road users per day. In 2012‑13, Australia will work with the World Bank to support the Government of Vietnam to put together its first major Public-Private Partnership project in the transport sector. Australia is supporting Vietnam's climate change response by strengthening approaches to adaptation (focusing on the Mekong Delta) and mitigation. Building on previous success, we are expanding our partnership with Germany across five provinces to preserve biodiversity and help communities adapt to the impacts of climate change in the Mekong Delta.
HUMANITARIAN AND DISASTER RESPONSE
With climate change, natural disasters are anticipated to become more frequent and intense. Natural disasters already have a significant impact in Vietnam. In 2009 alone, more than US$1.3 billion, or 3 per cent of Vietnam's GDP, was lost to weather-related disasters, with 454 recorded deaths.59 Australia will continue to support Vietnam's efforts to reduce the impacts of natural disasters. We will support the roll-out of Vietnam's national Community Based Disaster Risk Management program in recognition of the important role communities can play to reduce the impact of natural disasters through participatory planning and small-scale investment. This will be achieved in partnership with NGOs and the Asian Development Bank, reaching around 150 vulnerable communities from 2012 to 2015.

PHILIPPINES

Philippines flag

Despite a decade of economic growth in the Philippines, poverty remains persistent and is at its highest levels in the conflict-affected areas of Mindanao. Ongoing conflict and frequent natural disasters push more people into poverty. Low and inefficient public investment in basic services and high population growth mean that the country is not making sufficient progress to meet its MDG targets in basic education and health. As the Philippines is an increasingly active and constructive regional player, it is in Australia's national interests to help the country prosper. Our assistance is guided by the Australia-Philippines Development Cooperation Program Statement of Commitment 2012-17. Australia is among the top three bilateral donors and is the largest grant donor. The Philippines is considered to have the ability to absorb further aid, but control of corruption and government effectiveness remain problems.


Strategic goals Australia's response
PROMOTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL
The Philippines is unlikely to meet the MDG for universal primary education. Most secondary school graduates are ill-prepared to enter the workforce, or to undertake tertiary studies. The Philippines Government has prioritised education reform and outlined a plan to improve school access and quality. In 2012‑13, Australia will help the Philippines to implement education reforms focusing on Muslim and indigenous children, and children with disabilities. Australia will work with the Philippines Government to provide additional learning spaces in overcrowded schools and communities without access to schools. Australia will review and enhance the Department of Education's policy and curriculum for education of Muslim students. Between 2012 and 2017, Australia will help train 41,000 teachers to national standards, provide 15,000 out‑of‑school youth with technical and vocational training, and build 7,500 new classrooms providing an additional 400,000 student places.
EFFECTIVE GOVERNANCE
In the Philippines, local governments provide basic services, such as health, infrastructure and social welfare. Systems of local government need to be strengthened to improve their ability to deliver services. The Philippines' public financial management system also needs to be improved by implementing reforms in central finance agencies and large spending departments. This will lead to better delivery of government services to the population. In 2012‑13, Australia will work with the Philippines Government and local governments across 10 provinces to improve the quality and accountability of funding for provincial roads and other basic services. By 2013, 500 kilometres of roads will be improved through rehabilitation and road maintenance. Australia will, through its partnership with The Asia Foundation, bring together civil society, government and the private sector to help monitor governance reforms. Australia will provide at least 120 scholarships to Filipinos to improve their professional and leadership skills, focusing on those living in conflict-affected areas.
HUMANITARIAN AND DISASTER RESPONSE
The Philippines regularly experiences earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and an average of 20 tropical cyclones each year.60 Natural disasters can reduce economic growth and increase poverty. In the conflict‑affected areas of Mindanao, the lack of sustained peace is also economically and socially damaging. Security needs to be improved and development facilitated by establishing good governance practices, building human capital and exploiting opportunities to economically link underdeveloped areas with the more developed parts of Mindanao. In 2012‑13, Australia will begin to deliver disaster‑resilient settlements and improve the economic livelihoods of at least 9,000 poor men, women and children. Australia will train 420 community leaders living in these areas in disaster management. Australia will complete a hazard and risk analysis map for Metro Manila to identify disaster-prone areas and work with the Philippines' urban search and rescue units to achieve international accreditation standards. Australia will develop feasibility studies for commercial investment in conflict-affected areas. Between 2012 and 2017, Australia will provide education opportunities for children and youths involved with armed groups and work‑related skills training to 20,000 out-of-school youth in Mindanao province. Australia will provide approximately 100 local scholarships to train future administrators and professionals in conflict-affected areas.

EAST TIMOR

East Timor flag

East Timor is one of the world's poorest nations. Life expectancy is 62 years and 45 per cent of children under five are underweight for their age.61 Illiteracy is significant in Timor, with only 64 per cent of men and 53 per cent of women considered literate.62 Subsistence farming is the main form of livelihood, but agricultural productivity is low. East Timor is on track to meet the MDGs for gender equality and reducing child mortality, but is unlikely to reach the targets for eradicating extreme hunger and poverty, and improving maternal health. East Timor and Australia have a very close bilateral relationship, based on geographic proximity and historical ties. Australia was in the front‑line of support for East Timor's transition to independence, and continues to play an important role in the country's growth, including security and development assistance. Australian aid is making a difference. In November 2011, Australia and East Timor signed a new partnership, the Strategic Planning Agreement for Development. In line with this agreement, Australian aid focuses on improving education, health, rural infrastructure, agriculture and governance. The agreement is a practical demonstration of Australia's commitment to the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States, endorsed in Busan in November 2011.


Strategic goals Australia's response
SAVING LIVES
Maternal health in East Timor is not improving fast enough to meet the MDG target for reduced maternal mortality by 2015. East Timor's maternal mortality rate, estimated to be between 450 and 557 deaths per 100,000 live births remains one of the highest in Asia.63 East Timor is on track to reduce child mortality by 2015, but despite improvements, children in East Timor remain the most chronically malnourished in the world. Forty‑five per cent of children under five have stunted growth.64 Limited access to clean water and basic sanitation contributes to children dying from preventable diseases such as diarrhoea. In rural areas, only a quarter of households have access to basic sanitation and 57 per cent have access to a reliable supply of safe water.65 In 2012‑13, Australian assistance will improve the health of mothers and children in East Timor. This will include support for essential health services such as the monthly mobile clinics that visit 440 villages to immunise children and monitor their development, and advice on family planning and basic nutrition. Australia will support the delivery of specialist surgical services, including assistance to help mothers deliver their babies safely. We will also help reduce malnutrition by providing 100,000 mothers and children with nutritionally fortified biscuits and flour. By the end of 2012, Australia and East Timor's joint efforts will ensure that an additional 90,000 rural people have access to safe water and an additional 35,000 rural people have access to basic sanitation.
PROMOTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL
Education is crucial to enable the East Timorese people to build their own futures and escape poverty. Australia has contributed to increasing basic education enrolment rates from 67 per cent in 2004‑05 to 90 per cent in 2010, with gender ratios now almost equal at primary level.66 Nonetheless, in 2010, less than 30 per cent of enrolled children completed Year Nine, and it took a child an average of 11.2 years to complete six years of primary school.67 East Timor is unlikely to meet the MDG target for primary school enrolment by 2015. Australia will support the East Timorese Government to provide quality basic education to 93 per cent of children and reduce the drop-out rate to 5 per cent by 2015. By the end of 2012, Australia will have helped build or rehabilitate an additional 100 classrooms, bringing the total number of classrooms built or rehabilitated since 2007 to 2,100. In 2012‑13, we will support in‑service teacher training, deliver literacy packs to all primary schools in the country, and provide water and sanitation facilities to 48 primary schools. We will also provide up to 35 scholarships for East Timorese students to study tertiary courses in Australia.
SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
East Timor's non-oil economy has grown strongly since 2008, but unemployment remains a major challenge. Only 19 per cent of youth (aged 15-29) are employed.68 Sixty‑three per cent of the population is engaged in agricultural production, many of whom rely on subsistence agriculture with little or no cash income.69 The poor state of rural roads is a key constraint to economic development in rural areas, with much of East Timor's 3,000 kilometres rural road network in a poor condition. Through a new rural roads program, Australia will help create around 52,000 short-term jobs by 2016, bringing the total number of jobs created to over 160,000 since 2008. The program will help maintain and rehabilitate rural roads, improving access and bringing further opportunities for employment or enterprise to the rural poor. We will continue to support agricultural productivity through the Seeds of Life program, providing improved crop varieties to an additional 81,000 households by the end of 2015.
EFFECTIVE GOVERNANCE
A major challenge for East Timor's public sector is spending its resource revenues to deliver services for its people and encourage growth in the non-oil economy. With a state budget of US$1.7 billion for 2012‑13, East Timor plans to put US$757 million into its Infrastructure Fund to create power, telecommunications, roads, government buildings and other capital works.70 This spending needs to be done effectively so that East Timor moves closer to the long term goals in its Strategic Development Plan. Australia is helping to strengthen public financial management to enable East Timor to manage a state budget that has increased six-fold since 2006. Our support will help East Timor to spend its budget effectively on services and infrastructure. Australia will assist the Ministry of Finance to plan and manage major infrastructure procurement, and provide training for East Timor's 200 internal auditors. We will support the Ministry of Finance to provide financial management training across government, to enable it to better resource and deliver services, such as schools and hospitals. We will also retain the existing Australian Federal Police contribution to the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT). The program will also support UNMIT Police and the Policia Nacional de Timor-Leste to maintain security during the 2012 Parliamentary elections.

CAMBODIA

Cambodia flag

Cambodia has made considerable progress over the last decade, but remains one of the poorest countries in the region. Approximately 30 per cent of the population live in poverty, with 90 per cent of those in rural areas.71 Poor transport infrastructure, an inefficient agricultural sector, institutional weakness and corruption remain barriers to sustained economic development. Australia's strong support for the Cambodian Peace Process in the late 1980s and 1990s, including our lead role in the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (1992‑93) still resonates positively with Cambodians. Australian aid is guided by Australia's strategic approach to aid in Cambodia 2010-15, which focuses on child and maternal health, rural development, infrastructure, law and justice, and land management. Cambodia is an important partner in a region with developing economic and security ties and close proximity to Australia.


Strategic goals Australia's response
SAVING LIVES
While Cambodia has made significant progress in improving its health services and has achieved its MDG 4 and 5 targets on child and maternal health, challenges still remain. Cambodia's health system has major weaknesses, including a shortage of appropriately qualified medical staff and midwives and a reliance on donor funding for drugs to prevent and treat communicable diseases. Health indicators in Cambodia are still very poor by regional standards, particularly the rates of newborn deaths and child malnutrition.72 By 2014-15, Australia will have helped the Government of Cambodia to achieve its goal of 80 per cent of all births in Cambodia being attended by trained health staff, and 85 per cent of the population having access to health financing and health insurance. Australian support will include funding health facilities and training health practitioners. Australia will also help non‑government organisations to provide maternal and child health services to the poor.
SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Cambodia's rural economic activities are constrained by inefficient, unreliable and high cost transport and energy services. Poor rural infrastructure is a major problem, limiting Cambodia's ability to diversify its economy and integrate within the region. Only 10 per cent of Cambodia's roads are paved, the railway network is damaged and under-used, and electricity tariffs are high.73 Cambodia's rural development and food security can be improved through increased agricultural production and rural incomes. In 2012‑13, Australia will assist in the rehabilitation of Cambodia's National Railway, stretching from the Thai Border in the north to the port of Sihanoukville in the south. Australia's support for an expanded income restoration program will assist households affected by this project to earn a living after being resettled. When completed, this work will allow the efficient and reliable transport of passengers and goods across Cambodia. By 2015, Australian support will have enabled 120,000 poor farmers to increase their agricultural productivity by 7 per cent and given 30,000 hectares of land access to irrigation.
EFFECTIVE GOVERNANCE
Cambodia faces ongoing challenges in establishing a fair, transparent and accountable legal and judicial system. Close to 36 per cent of the population is between 14 and 30 years old and petty crime perpetrated by youth is increasing.74 Cambodia suffers from severe prison overcrowding. Thirty‑six per cent of prisoners are in pre-trial detention, many for misdemeanours for which non-custodial options are available under the law.75 Increasing the number of prisoners in rehabilitation programs in prisons is a priority. Between 2012 and 2015, Australia will assist Cambodia to implement a National Crime Database and a Court Register to strengthen the administration of law and justice nationwide. Australian support will help commune councils and community police to prevent crime and assist the formal justice sector institutions to deal justly with juveniles, women and other vulnerable groups. By 2015, Australia aims to help reduce the number of people in pre-trial detention from 36 per cent of the prison population to 25 per cent and increase non‑custodial sentencing for petty crime convictions from zero to 25 per cent. Australia remains supportive of the Khmer Rouge trials being conducted by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.
HUMANITARIAN AND DISASTER RESPONSE
Landmines and unexploded ordnance kill and injure hundreds of people in Cambodia each year, having affected around 64,000 people to date.76 Up to 650 square kilometres of otherwise arable land is contaminated with landmines and unexploded ordnance, reducing available land for agriculture and rural development.77 Clearance of these landmines and unexploded ordnance will take many more years of intensive effort. Australia will continue to support Cambodian Mine Action Authority programs for the removal of landmines from 35 square kilometres of land between 2011 and 2015. Australian support of landmine clearance and community awareness has helped Cambodia to reduce the number of landmine casualties by 67 per cent from 875 in 2005 to 286 in 2010.78 By 2015, Australian support will enable an additional 20,700 people to live in areas with reduced mine risk.

BURMA

Burma flag

Burma is one of the poorest countries in South East Asia, with an estimated quarter of its 50 million people living in poverty.79 Burma will not meet key MDGs, including in education and maternal and child health.80 Health outcomes are among the worst in the region and, for the first time, this generation of Burmese children will be less educated than their parents. Burma is prone to natural disasters and communities are vulnerable to their effects. Ongoing conflict has seen over 400,000 refugees fleeing to neighbouring countries.81 Approximately 450,000 people remain internally displaced.82 While Burma is unlikely to meet key MDGs, the country is undergoing historic reform. The prospects for change are better now than at any time in the last 20 years. Australia aims to help Burma transition to a stable, more democratic and more prosperous member of the region and the international community. Burma receives less aid per capita than any of the other 50 poorest countries in the world, at around US$8 per capita.83 Australia is the second largest donor to Burma and will be the lead donor in the education sector. Australian aid is guided by Australia's strategic approach to aid in Burma: An interim statement: December 2010 which targets education, health and food security and focuses on vulnerable populations across Burma and on the border with Thailand and Bangladesh. The operating environment in Burma remains difficult due to ongoing ethnic conflicts in Rakhine State, vulnerability to natural disasters and low capacity caused by decades of isolation.


Strategic goals Australia's response
SAVING LIVES
Across Burma, large numbers of people continue to die from preventable illness and disease. Burma has an under-five mortality rate of 71 per 1,000 live births which is mostly a result of neonatal causes, pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria.84 The United Nations estimates that 2,400 pregnant women die annually, largely from preventable causes.85 Estimated cases of malaria are approximately 4.2 million per year, and almost 69 per cent of the population lives in malaria endemic areas.86 Burma is one of 22 of the world's highest tuberculosis-burdened countries, and resistance to tuberculosis and malaria drugs is a growing problem.87 Australia's contribution to the multi-donor Three Millennium Development Goals Fund will help address maternal and child health, HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, and will strengthen national health systems. From 2012, Australia's support will help avert more than 25,000 deaths of children under five, and more than 3,000 maternal deaths. Our support will help an estimated 46,000 births to be attended by skilled health professionals, an additional 30,000 women to receive full antenatal care, an additional 95,000 children to be immunised against diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus, and through advocacy and counselling an additional 34,000 children will be exclusively breastfed, which is a proven way to increase child survival rates in the first six months of life. Australia will also support mobile outreach services in 3,000 remote villages treating common causes of death for mothers and babies.
PROMOTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL
Extremely low public investment in education has prevented Burma achieving quality basic education for many of its 18 million children. UNICEF estimates that less than 54 per cent of children complete primary school.88 Education quality is poor, with UNICEF suggesting that just 57 per cent of teachers are properly qualified.89 Most schools do not have reliable clean water and appropriate sanitation facilities. Human and institutional capacity to deliver basic services is severely constrained. Australia will support a multi-donor education fund to increase the number of children accessing and completing quality basic education in Burma. By 2015, the fund aims to have provided learning kits for 1.1 million primary students, trained 20,500 teachers in child-centred learning techniques, and facilitated access to early childhood development for up to 85,000 girls and boys. Through the World Food Programme, Australia will help an estimated 228,000 children stay in school in 2012 by providing monthly food rations to families who regularly send their children to primary school. In 2012‑13, Australia will offer up to 30 long term and 20 short term scholarship awards to Burmese people who have the potential to strengthen the delivery of basic services.
SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Agriculture, fisheries and forestry employ around 52 per cent of the economically active population, but are deeply constrained by mismanagement, lack of research and technology, poor access to financial services and decrepit infrastructure.90 The World Food Programme estimates that around 5 million Burmese people had no food security in 2009. Moderate or severe stunting affects 41 per cent of children91 and 32 per cent are considered moderately or severely underweight.92 People living in remote and conflict‑affected areas are particularly vulnerable to food insecurity and restricted livelihood opportunities. The multi-donor Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund to which Australia is a major donor, will increase agricultural productivity, food availability and household income for two million beneficiaries, including providing financial services to more than 50,000 poor and vulnerable households by 2015‑16. By funding the work of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, Australia will support new technologies in agriculture while also building the research capacity of Burmese counterparts. Australia will support CARE Australia to improve economic opportunities and food security to over 60,000 people in northern Rakhine State.

LAO PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC

Lao People's Democratic Republic flag

Despite steady economic and social gains, particularly in urban areas, Laos remains one of the poorest countries in the world. An estimated 33 per cent of the population live under the poverty line.93 Many of the poor located in remote rural areas have limited or non-existent access to roads. The reach and quality of basic services delivered by the Government of Laos is limited due to low human and financial capacity. There is an increasing reliance on the resources sector for economic growth and government revenue which is presenting challenges to the pursuit of sustainable and inclusive development. Australia has provided development assistance to Laos for 60 years. Australia's aid to Laos is guided by the Australia‑Laos Development Cooperation Strategy 2009-15. The strategy involves a balance between activities that provide direct and immediate support to people living in poverty (livelihoods support, unexploded ordnance clearance and humanitarian support) and those that underpin future development and poverty reduction (education support, infrastructure provision and trade and investment reform).

Strategic goals Australia's response
PROMOTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL
Educational status in Laos is poor with an adult literacy rate of 73 per cent and only 75 per cent of Year One students reaching Year Five.94 Student progression from primary to secondary school is also poor with only 75 per cent of boys and 66 per cent of girls making the transition. Significant progress has been made increasing primary education enrolment rates, although progress toward ensuring all students complete the full five years of primary school education has stagnated. In 2012‑13, Australian support will help construct new classrooms in approximately 220 primary and pre‑primary schools, and water and sanitation facilities in more than 450 schools. Training and equipment will be provided to more than 750 teachers at primary and pre-primary level. This support contributes to the Global Partnership for Education in Laos, helping Laos move toward universal primary education. Around 70 scholarships will be provided in 2012‑13 for tertiary study in Australia.
SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
The resources sector remains a dominant feature of the Lao economy, accounting for almost half of the 8.4 per cent growth in 2010.95 This reliance on resources, particularly mining, leaves Laos exposed to fluctuations in mineral prices. Laos is pursuing a trade reform agenda but significant challenges remain, as demonstrated by a ranking of 165 out of 183 countries in the Ease of Doing Business Index.96 Around 71 per cent of the population in Laos live in rural areas, where the poverty rate is 32 per cent. It is estimated that 13 per cent of the population suffers food insecurity and that 66 per cent are at risk of food insecurity.97  Poverty has been steadily falling, but rural vulnerability remains an issue with some communities being displaced from their land and associated livelihoods by national development policies and the granting of large-scale agricultural concessions to foreign private investors. Inadequate infrastructure, unexploded ordnance contamination and the limited access of rural households to social safety nets, financial services, and markets continue to contribute to rural poverty. By the end of 2012 Australia will have provided around 800,000 people with access to improved productive infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, water and sanitation facilities, and irrigation schemes. This access to essential infrastructure and services will help remove barriers to improved rural livelihoods and household income for poor communities. In 2012‑13, in partnership with Australian non-government organisations, Australia will support at least an additional 800 poor households achieve improved agricultural productivity, livelihoods, and income. Australia will continue to support the Lao Government's trade and investment facilitation agenda in 2012‑13 to improve incomes, employment and enterprise opportunities. Australia will improve regulatory transparency for business by establishing an electronic trade portal which will publish government trade procedures in one place. Australia is also supporting Laos accession to the World Trade Organization which involves Laos undertaking a series of pre-accession reforms aimed at improving the trade and investment environment.
HUMANITARIAN AND DISASTER RESPONSE
Unexploded ordnance contamination is a major issue. Half of potential agricultural land in Laos is contaminated with cluster munitions. Unexploded ordnance causes around 300 casualties every year.98 Steady progress is being made with clearance but it is an expensive and painstakingly slow process. It is estimated that clearance of priority areas will take $US1.6 billion and, at present rates of clearance, more than 100 years. Australia will continue support in 2012‑13 for unexploded ordnance clearance, risk education and survivor rehabilitation. With Australian support, non-government organisations and the government clearance agency will clear unexploded ordnance from at least 500 hectares of land, benefiting around 30,000 people.

MONGOLIA

Lao People's Democratic Republic flag

Mongolia has experienced relatively strong economic growth for the past decade and has one of the fastest growing economies in the Asia-Pacific region, due to high levels of foreign investment in its mining sector. However, social and economic inequality is a key risk to long‑term growth and stability, and access to water, sanitation and quality education remain serious problems, particularly in rural areas. Overall, poverty levels remain consistently high at around 35 per cent of the population.99 Mining expansion is taking place in a context of high inflation and weak governance and accountability. Mongolia's heavy reliance on mining also means that its economy is highly vulnerable to global resource price fluctuations and financial shocks. Mongolia is a relatively new democracy in our region, strategically located between China and Russia and home to substantial natural resource reserves. It is in Australia's national interest to support stability, good governance and transparent use of natural resources in the region.

Strategic goals Australia's response
PROMOTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL
More than 50 per cent of Mongolia's rural population has no access to safe water and nearly 70 per cent has no access to adequate sanitation.100  Only 25 per cent of district schools have improved sanitation and 28 per cent have access to adequate water.101 Lack of proper water and sanitation in rural schools and dormitories, where many rural children spend up to nine months of the year, poses a serious health risk to these children and impacts upon attendance rates. Human resource constraints at all levels represent a serious impediment to Mongolia's economic development. From 2012, Australia will partner with UNICEF to provide improved water and sanitation facilities for 7,800 disadvantaged rural children in northwest Mongolia, not only improving health outcomes but also contributing to higher school attendance rates. We will support human resource development through Australian Development Scholarships, which will increase to 38 per year from 2012.
SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Mongolia's rapidly expanding mining sector is expected to return large revenues to the government in the years ahead. Minerals already account for approximately 80 per cent of Mongolia's exports.102 The absence of robust financial governance arrangements and environmental safeguards represent serious threats to long-term economic development. The mining industry is highly dependent upon large, reliable quantities of water, even though there is no viable plan for supplying water to Mongolia's key mining projects, which are located in peripheral provinces with limited water resources. Australia will continue to support improved governance and environmental accountability in Mongolia's mining sector. This includes a six-year, $7.4 million activity with the World Bank beginning in 2012. This activity will strengthen the ability of authorities to manage groundwater resources in the South Gobi region, a key mining area that is also home to communities of pastoral nomads. Through Australia's Mining for Development Initiative, we will also provide access to short term technical training courses that will better equip Mongolians for work in the mining sector.

PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA

People's Republic of China flag

China is the world's second largest economy and has its own large and growing overseas aid program. In July 2011, the Australian Government announced that bilateral aid to China will be phased out. Most of AusAID's existing work in China, such as environment and health programs, will be completed by the end of 2012. Australia will continue to provide targeted assistance through multilateral organisations and regional programs. Targeted support for issues such as human rights and health in Tibet will continue through the North Asia Regional Program.

AusAID's bilateral ODA to China will conclude in 2012‑13.

DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF KOREA (DPRK)

Democratic People's Republic of Korea flag

The quality of life in DPRK has declined markedly over the last 20 years. In 2011‑12, an estimated 3 million North Koreans faced food shortages.103 Australia does not have a bilateral aid program with DPRK, but we provide humanitarian aid to vulnerable people on an as-needs basis. All Australian aid to DPRK is channelled through multilateral organisations, such as the World Food Programme and UNICEF, to reduce the risk of funds being diverted from the intended beneficiaries.

Regional programs

EAST ASIA REGIONAL PROGRAMS

2012-13 Estimate: $89.6 million

To address transboundary development needs that are not met by bilateral programs, Australia supports an East Asia Regional program.

Strategic goals Australia's response
SAVING LIVES
Demographic changes, remote small-value farming, increased and new patterns of migration and livestock cross-border trade contribute to East Asia's continuing pandemics and outbreaks of infectious diseases. Foot and mouth disease outbreaks are fuelled by unregulated cross-border trade of livestock and damage the livelihoods and food security of rural communities. Rabies is always fatal without treatment and is endemic in six countries across East Asia. More than 45 per cent of all rabies deaths occur in Asia.104 Children under the age of 15 are particularly vulnerable, representing more than 40 per cent of rabies cases in the region.105 Improving animal health systems will help to control infectious diseases, most of which start at an animal source. The 2010 UNAIDS Global Report estimated that 4.8 million people in Asia were living with HIV and that there were 358,000 people newly infected with HIV, 6,000 more than in 2009. Prevention is the key to halting the spread of HIV. In East Asia, drug injectors and their partners are particularly at risk of new HIV infections. In 2012‑13, Australia will save lives in East Asia by working with the World Health Organization to train around 300 community animal health workers. We will prevent small farmers from suffering the loss of animals to foot and mouth disease and associated food insecurity by improving local emergency response plans. We will help countries to prevent pandemics which start in animals (for example avian influenza) from transferring to humans, by assisting three countries to deliver national animal disease strategic plans. We will prevent rabies infections by distributing rabies vaccines to high‑prevalence areas in Indonesia and the Philippines. Around 20,000 men and women in the Greater Mekong sub-region will be provided with condoms and access to HIV counselling and referrals for testing and treatment. We will also prevent new HIV infections by distributing around 3.5 million needles and syringes.
SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Despite decades of strong growth in East Asia, poverty and inequality remain, including a large development gap between some countries in the region. Our activities with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are helping it to achieve its goal of an integrated economic community by 2015. Our focus is to strengthen the ASEAN Secretariat and implement projects that promote regional economic integration. In APEC, we are helping developing members to improve their economic growth, by liberalising trade and investment. In the East Asia Summit we are continuing to build linkages between Australian and East Asian public sector institutions and work together to address regional economic issues (for example through improving trade financing). This work helps economic integration and strengthens the capacity of developing countries to achieve balanced and sustainable growth. Water resources lie at the heart of development in the Mekong subregion. About 60 million people live in the lower Mekong Basin and depend significantly on the river and its tributaries for their livelihood. An estimated 2.2 million tonnes of freshwater fish are harvested annually.106 Proposed hydropower development on the mainstream of the lower Mekong River is testing regional relations and water governance machinery, as Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam assess and discuss the economic benefits and transboundary impacts of these large scale projects. Australia will work with ASEAN to promote regional economic integration. We will improve the mobility of service professionals. For example, over the next four years, we will support the mobility of skilled labour in the tourism sector within ASEAN. Australia will assist developing economies to open their markets to improve trade and investment flows through more liberal and standardised tariff resources and implementation of the Australia and New Zealand Free Trade Agreement. In APEC, we are helping developing members participate in regional policy dialogues and practical workshops that address barriers to more open trade and investment and to a more competitive business environment. Integrated water resources management programs in Cambodia and Laos will continue to build national capacity to better manage national water resources. This will be achieved through visits by government officials to Australia in 2012 and 2013 to learn about best‑practice management of natural resources development. We will support further study on the sustainable development and management of the Mekong River, including the impact of mainstream hydropower development projects. A new phase of assistance to the Mekong River Commission will continue to strengthen capacity of this organisation during a crucial time. This will include helping discussions over the development of the mainstream of the Mekong River, and particularly discussion of hydropower dams.
EFFECTIVE GOVERNANCE
As economic integration and connectivity increase in the region, so do transboundary challenges. The growing numbers of trafficked persons and labour migrants highlight the need for regional responses to issues that spread across borders. These development patterns give rise to a range of human security challenges such as human trafficking and child exploitation. Particularly at risk are women and men seeking work in other countries that are caught up in unsafe migration. Impunity and lack of data on the nature and extent of human trafficking are the main obstacles in overcoming these challenges. Over the next four years, Australia will continue working with ASEAN to support programs that strengthen the criminal justice sector response to human trafficking. A new five-year anti-trafficking program is expected to begin in late 2012 across East Asia. From 2010-14, through the International Labour Organisation, we will provide around 20,000 vulnerable and exploited workers with advice on their labour rights and protection from exploitation, and strengthen labour standards and working conditions. Australia will also support efforts to prevent child sex tourism by working with vulnerable communities and strengthening law enforcement information systems to increase investigations, arrests and convictions.
HUMANITARIAN AND DISASTER RESPONSE
Natural disasters continue to cause loss of life, property and livelihoods in the East Asia region and impede sustainable development. Recent disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis, floods and volcanic eruptions, are a reminder that the region remains prone to disasters that have negative long‑term social, economic and environmental consequences. East Asia Summit countries accounted for eight of the world's 10 deadliest disasters in 2009 and five of the 10 in 2010. Australia is supporting a new disaster management initiative in the East Asia Summit which sets out a three year work plan (2012-14) to enhance coordination on disaster response. A new East Asia Summit disaster management committee will oversee the work plan, with the focus on information sharing between countries, overcoming bottlenecks in responding to disasters and promoting collaboration and partnerships between countries when responding to disasters. Australia will support the new committee with implementation activities.

2.3. South and West Asia

Overview

South Asia

South Asia is home to half of the world's poor.107 More than one billion people, equivalent to 74 per cent of the population of South Asia, live on less than US$2 a day.108 Based on current trends, the countries of South Asia will not achieve many of the MDGs. One in six people suffer from malnutrition and one in three children is underweight. Food security is threatened by deceleration in growth of agricultural output and productivity. Levels of investment in agriculture have also been declining, while population increases have exacerbated food security issues. Water security also remains a constant challenge, which will deepen as the region deals with the impacts of climate change. While South Asian economies have experienced a period of economic growth, there is widespread income inequality and underinvestment in economic infrastructure, education and job creation.

Australia's country programs in South Asia will address education, health, social protection, livelihoods, water and sanitation, and human resource development. We will build strong partnerships with the most effective and trusted organisations in the region, while also supporting government systems.

West Asia

Afghanistan and Pakistan have some of the poorest and most disadvantaged populations in the world, and are the focus of major international efforts to promote stability. Australia's whole-of-government engagement in Afghanistan and Pakistan includes interlinked diplomatic, development, defence and police elements.

Out of 187 countries in the United Nations Human Development Index, Afghanistan is ranked close to last at 172 and Pakistan 145.109 According to the World Bank, 36 per cent of people in Afghanistan and 22 per cent in Pakistan live below national poverty lines.110 Pakistan and Afghanistan are consistently ranked near the bottom of United Nations Development Programme's Gender Inequality Index and opportunities for women are very limited. Population pressures compound development challenges in these countries. Pakistan's population is expected to grow by 40 million by 2020 (to over 210 million people) and Afghanistan's by another 10 million (to almost 40 million people).111

Strong economic growth is necessary in both countries to reduce poverty and improve development outcomes. The monsoon floods of 2010 and 2011 affected millions of people and stalled Pakistan's economic recovery from the global financial crisis. Afghanistan is currently transitioning from international to Afghan‑led security. One aspect of this transition is expected to be the widening of the gap between Afghan Government revenue and expenditure as international security spending and development assistance are drawn down. In this context, budget discipline and the pursuit of priority reforms will be more important than ever.

Over the next four years Australia anticipates increasing assistance to South and West Asia by around 38 per cent, from $525 million in 2012‑13 to an indicative level of $725 million by 2015-16.

Estimated ODA by strategic goal in 2012‑13

Estimated ODA ($m)
(2012‑13 to 2015-16)

Saving lives 18%

Estimated ODA ($m) - (2012-13 to 2015-16)

Promoting opportunities for all 28%
Sustainable economic development 19%
Effective governance 20%
Humanitarian and disaster response 11%
Cross-cutting 4%
Total 100%

Estimated ODA to South and West Asia in 2012-13: $525.3 million

Estimated ODA to South and West Asia in 2012-13: $525.3 million

New Initiative: Continuing Australia's aid program to Afghanistan

The Government will invest an additional $190.3 million over two years in assistance to Afghanistan.

  • AusAID will support the training of at least 4,950 teachers (including 1,050 women) and putting an additional 32,900 children in school, including 11,500 girls. AusAID's assistance will link farmers to markets by building 110 kilometres of secondary and tertiary rural roads and maintaining 145 kilometres of rural roads. AusAID will provide financial and technical assistance to strengthen the capacity of priority Afghan service delivery ministries, continue support for the electoral process, and help to develop a sustainable mining industry by building the capacity of the Ministry of Mines through scholarships and short-term training;
  • AusAID and ACIAR will work in partnership to increase agricultural productivity through application of new research into wheat and maize varieties, and improved water management in dryland areas;
  • The Australian Federal Police will continue to strengthen the strategic capability and effectiveness of the Afghan National Police; and
  • The Department of Immigration and Citizenship will provide support for displaced Afghan nationals, including non-food items, assistance with registration of returning Afghan nationals, and support for longer term livelihood projects.

Country programs

BANGLADESH

Bangladesh flag

With 81 per cent of its population living on less than US$2 a day, the development challenge in Bangladesh is acute when compared to other developing countries in the region. Progress toward the MDGs has been made over the past decade, but major challenges remain. The health and education programs of the Bangladesh Government struggle to reach remote and vulnerable communities. With a population of 148 million living on a low lying delta, Bangladesh is also vulnerable to the effects of climate change and natural disasters. Many Bangladeshis are moving to urban areas looking for work, putting additional pressure on existing services and infrastructure. Australia's aid targets education, maternal and child health, water and sanitation, disaster risk reduction and humanitarian assistance. Australian trade with Bangladesh has grown rapidly over the past five years, with exports increasing by around 50 per cent in 2010‑11.112


Strategic goals Australia's response
SAVING LIVES
Bangladesh has made impressive progress in many areas of health, including reducing child mortality rates, but continued effort is required to ensure all Bangladeshis benefit from economic growth. While maternal mortality has declined as a consequence of targeted government and civil society programs, every 45 minutes a woman in Bangladesh dies from pregnancy or complications connected with childbirth, while one family in four will lose a child by age five.113 Around half the population does not have access to good sanitation facilities. Australia will support Bangladesh's national health sector and civil society programs to help it deliver better health services, particularly to women and children. This will be complemented with funding for civil society programs that will reach up to 22 million people. This year Australian funding will ensure approximately 33,600 births are attended by skilled attendants, up to 90,000 children under the age of one are vaccinated, and around 300,000 people are treated for diarrhoea-related diseases. We will also support the construction of 1,800 additional water points and 30,000 latrines to help around 200,000 people access cleaner water and better sanitation infrastructure.
PROMOTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL
In primary education, Bangladesh has achieved some notable successes. These include increases in net enrolment rates, achieving gender parity, and progress in decentralisation through school level improvement plans and structural changes. However, critical challenges remain, such as poor completion rates. Only 55 per cent of children complete primary school and children from disadvantaged groups, hard to reach areas, and those with special educational needs often do not have adequate access to schooling.114 Australia will support Bangladesh's Third Primary Education Program to improve the learning environment and outcomes. This will include providing teacher training and textbooks to benefit 17 million children. Through civil society partners, we will help to deliver non-formal basic education to over 180,000 students (60 per cent female) per year in rural and urban areas.
SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
While poverty rates are falling steadily, the number of poor people remains high with 50 per cent of the population still living in extreme poverty. This group is extremely vulnerable to global food and oil price increases. In 2012‑13, Australia will help lift about 60,000 extremely poor women and their families out of poverty. In partnership with the United Kingdom Government, we will help around 8,700 extremely vulnerable families living on remote river islands with assistance to reduce flood risks and provide them with employment opportunities, productive assets and training.
EFFECTIVE GOVERNANCE
To continue progress toward its MDGs, public administration and service delivery systems need to be improved. Australia will work with Government of Bangladesh programs in health and education to strengthen systems of public financial management, human resource management and procurement. Australia will further help Bangladesh strengthen its governance capacity in 2012‑13 by providing 55 Development Scholarships and 39 volunteers to key civil society organisations.
HUMANITARIAN AND DISASTER RESPONSE
Bangladesh is extremely vulnerable to natural disasters including floods, tidal surges and earthquakes, with often catastrophic consequences. Around 20 per cent of the country is flooded annually and severe floods can inundate up to 40 per cent of the country. Despite these challenges, Bangladesh has improved its focus on disaster risk reduction. Australia will support the Government of Bangladesh and the United Nations Development Program to establish an Early Recovery Facility to help communities recovering from natural disasters. The Facility will ensure that after a disaster, assets are replaced and infrastructure is reconstructed which conforms to better standards and specifications.

SRI LANKA

Sri Lanka flag

Sri Lanka has emerged from a 26-year civil conflict with opportunities to accelerate economic growth. It is one of the few lower middle-income countries that is on track to achieve most of the MDG targets at a national level. However, economic and social development is uneven. Poverty remains persistently high, especially in areas affected by the war. These regions lag far behind the national average in education, access to clean water and other key basic services. Located across the east-west shipping route, Sri Lanka is strategically important in the region, especially for sea-based trade. Australia's assistance focuses on conflict-affected areas promoting equitable access to basic services, such as education, and improving the incomes of vulnerable people.

Strategic goals Australia's response
SAVING LIVES
Sri Lanka is on track to meet its national MDG water and sanitation targets. However, Sri Lanka is a post-conflict nation with highly uneven development. Only 20 per cent of the rural population have piped water supply, while 62 per cent of urban dwellers do. Thirteen per cent of schools across the country lack adequate water and sanitation facilities. Landmines and other explosive remnants of war still pose a significant threat. This prevents economic recovery and hinders infrastructure and other development programs. In 2012‑13, Australia will improve water and sanitation facilities and provide hygiene education in around 200 schools in the East and Central provinces in partnership with UNICEF. This will ensure basic water and sanitation services for around 37,000 students and 2,500 teachers. Australia is also supporting landmine risk education and helping to clear land in northern Sri Lanka to allow resettlement of displaced populations.
PROMOTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL
Despite high adult literacy levels, there are large differences in learning outcomes across the country. The quality of primary education varies and some children are not able to attend school. Access to tertiary and vocational education is limited and does not align well to the needs of the labour market. An improved education system that promotes values such as multiculturalism will support peace in the future. Australia is working with the Sri Lankan Government to improve the quality of primary and secondary education and reduce regional disparities benefiting four million school children across the country. Australian funding provides 704,000 textbooks, and assists 8,800 teachers and 132 school officials and administrators. There is a particular focus on basic skills in English and mathematics, and high-level skills such as lateral thinking and problem solving. Australia will provide around 22 long-term scholarships to study in Australia.
SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
It is estimated that GDP will grow by an average of 6 to 7 per cent a year over the next few years. Challenges for the Sri Lankan Government include reducing its deficit, encouraging foreign investment and containing inflation. About 50 per cent of economic activity is concentrated in Colombo and the Western Province, resulting in low levels of poverty and high standards of living. In contrast, around 30 per cent of the population live on less than US$2 a day, particularly in the tea estates (Central Province) and conflict-affected areas (Northern and Eastern Provinces). During 2012‑13, Australia will help generate economic opportunities, support community development and improve service delivery for rural communities in Sri Lanka. This will include building community water supplies for 2,000 people and constructing an ice-making plant that will help approximately 3,700 fishing families and 2,000 dairy farming families to store, process and sell goods. To accelerate economic development in conflict affected areas, we will help repair and construct critical rural public infrastructure (including minor roads, irrigation systems, and public transport facilities) for an estimated 370,000 beneficiaries over three years from 2012 to 2015.

NEPAL

Nepal flag

Despite impressive poverty reduction efforts in Nepal, more than half of its population lives on less than US$1.25 a day and about three quarters of the population lives on less than US$2 a day. While Nepal's social development indicators are amongst the lowest in South Asia, it is likely to achieve some of its MDGs. The likelihood of Nepal returning to conflict is low, but political stability impacts on development prospects. Australia's assistance to Nepal targets maternal and child health, quality education, water and sanitation and improving rural livelihoods.

Strategic goals Australia's response
SAVING LIVES
More effort is needed to attain the health MDGs in Nepal. Reaching the most marginalised children is a priority. Nepal has made significant progress in reducing the infant mortality rate and under five mortality rate in recent years. In 2010 there were 41 infant deaths per 1,000 live births and 50 under five deaths per 1,000 live births.115 Neonatal mortality has fallen less dramatically, but it is still possible that Nepal will meet its child mortality goals before 2015. Australia will work with the Government of Nepal's national health program to support improved nutrition, child survival rates and maternal health, with a special focus on the poor and excluded. The aim is to reduce the current prevalence of underweight children to 29 per cent by 2015, from the 2010 prevalence of 39 per cent.116
PROMOTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL
Nepal has shown improvement in the enrolment rate at primary school level, but a challenge remains to ensure that geographically remote and socially marginalised populations have access to the education system. Australia will continue to support the Government of Nepal's School Sector Reform Program together with other donors. The overall program will assist more than 1.6 million girls and dalit (untouchable) children from poor families and children with disabilities to receive scholarships to attend school. All primary school students will receive free text books.
SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Fifty five per cent of the population live below the national poverty line of US$1.25 a day. The government's commitment to, and budget for, a social safety net is increasing. Only 20 per cent of land in Nepal is arable and there is limited irrigation. Since the 1990s, Nepal has regularly experienced an annual food deficit, and relies on imports from India. This contributes to malnutrition in children and mothers. In the agricultural sector, we will work with other donors to help Nepal diversify rural livelihoods. We will increase the incomes of poor families through the creation and development of handicraft and forest product micro-enterprises and other small businesses. Our program will target women, ethnic minorities and dalits. It is expected to have lifted at least 40 per cent of trained micro-entrepreneurs out of poverty, when revisited five years after training. Analysis of the causes of malnutrition will help improve targeting of assistance.

BHUTAN

Bhutan flag

Bhutan is on track to achieve most of the MDGs, including the targets for education and health. Despite Bhutan's achievements in human development, the country still faces significant constraints and challenges, including those relating to limited service delivery systems and emerging democratic institutions. The inaugural Australia-Bhutan bilateral consultations were held in January 2012, marking 50 years of the bilateral development partnership.

Australian ODA to Bhutan is estimated to be $11 million in 2012‑13 with a focus on human resource development, particularly in the government sector through around 45 scholarships, and support for the Royal Institute of Management. Volunteer programs will also commence in the education and health sectors.

MALDIVES

Maldives flag

Maldives has made significant progress in social and economic development, graduating from Least Developed Country status in January 2011. Maldives is highly susceptible to the effects of climate change. Development continues to rest heavily on two industries, tourism and fisheries, and both are vulnerable to external economic factors, natural disasters and rising sea levels. The country faces high unit costs for service delivery across the islands and a shortage of skilled personnel.

Australian ODA to Maldives is estimated to be $7 million in 2012‑13 with a focus on human resource development through around 40 scholarships, and climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts through a World Bank Trust Fund. Australia also supports partners working on judicial reform and public administration, and four volunteers working in the education sector.

INDIA

India flag

India has experienced unprecedented economic growth over the past decade and is itself a significant aid donor. Australia will phase out the bilateral aid program by 2013‑14. Existing health and HIV, agriculture and food security activities will be completed in 2012‑13. Targeted assistance will continue to be provided through multilateral organisations and regional programs where we can make a difference to poor people. Regional programs will support energy efficiency, water resource management, and regional infrastructure and trade cooperation activities. Public sector technical assistance related to the Australia-India Strategic Partnership will be implemented by Other Government Departments and supported through the regional program.

Australian ODA to India is estimated to be $18.3 million in 2012‑13, with a focus on addressing climate change through mitigation and adaptation and improving the living standards of poor and marginalised families in the eastern plateau region of India, through improved agricultural and catchment management. We will also support six energy efficiency pilot programs in the steel sector, in an effort to support India in developing more reliable and affordable energy.

AFGHANISTAN

Afghanistan flag

Afghanistan faces immense development challenges. Thirty years of conflict have crippled Afghanistan's human, physical and institutional infrastructure. Development gains since 2001 — notably in health and education — have been substantial but remain fragile. Afghanistan has some of the lowest development indicators in the world with life expectancy at just 48 years.117 Australia is committed to international efforts to stabilise Afghanistan, with improved development and governance as fundamental components of the Australian and international strategy. Australian aid will support national efforts to improve education, agriculture and rural development, and governance. Governance support will focus on mining, public financial management and elections. In Uruzgan province, where Australian troops are deployed, Australian aid programs will train provincial officials, deliver health and hygiene education, build schools and other community infrastructure and clear mines. Across Afghanistan development efforts are constrained by insecurity, poor governance capacity and corruption. Australia is a major bilateral donor to Afghanistan, and in a challenging environment, Australian aid is having a positive impact on the lives of Afghans. Australia and Afghanistan are developing a Memorandum of Understanding on development cooperation to underpin our assistance.


Strategic goals Australia's response
PROMOTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL
Less than half of Afghanistan's population is literate, with women particularly disadvantaged.118 Education under Taliban rule was highly restricted, with fewer than one million children, almost all boys, in school.119 School enrolments have now increased to over seven million students, including around 2.5 million girls, the largest figures in the history of Afghanistan.120 But there are still major barriers to education, including a shortage of teachers and limited formal training. Australia will improve the quality of, and access to, education, mainly through support for the World Bank-managed Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund. Through the Fund, we will put at least 15,000 more children in school in 2012‑13, and at least one-third of these will be girls. Since 2009, we have also supported the training of 120 Afghan master teacher trainers in Malaysia who to date have trained 676 teacher trainers in Afghanistan. A further 60 Afghan master teacher trainers and up to 340 teacher trainers are expected to benefit in 2012‑13.
SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Since 2001, the Afghan economy has been heavily reliant on donors, with assistance accounting for 71 per cent of the country's GDP in 2010‑11.121 This has contributed to economic growth, but a major fiscal gap has been forecast in the lead up to and beyond security transition. Addressing this gap will be critical and needs to focus on long‑term drivers of growth, particularly mining, agriculture and fiscal discipline. In 2012‑13, we will increase engagement in the mining sector, focusing on policy and legislative reform, effective sector regulation and training opportunities. Increased assistance to agriculture will focus on improving food security and agricultural productivity through better on-farm practices; increased community resilience; and support to the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock.
EFFECTIVE GOVERNANCE
Weak governance, including low institutional capacity and corruption, are major constraints to Afghanistan's development. Afghanistan ranked 180 out of 183 countries in Transparency International's 2011 Perceptions of Corruption Index.122 Political stability is also fragile. The next presidential election, scheduled for 2014 will be a further test of legitimacy. Strengthening electoral processes continues to be a key component of democratic reform. Through our support to the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund, Australia will continue to strengthen service delivery in priority Afghan ministries with technical advisers and training. This will be reinforced through a new, three-year program to build public financial management capacity focusing on four key ministries. Assistance to accountability institutions such as the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and for electoral reform will also continue. In 2012‑13, we will offer up to 42 Australian Development Scholarships to build the Afghanistan Government's human resource capacity.

PAKISTAN

Pakistan flag

More than one fifth of the population of Pakistan lives on less than US$1.25 a day. Pakistan's progress towards the MDGs is slow, mostly in relation to poverty, primary education and maternal and child health. The 2010 and 2011 floods have had a devastating effect on development progress across Pakistan, and Pakistani communities remain vulnerable to the effects of conflict and natural disasters. Australia has a long-term national interest in supporting Pakistan, given the scale of its development challenges and its pivotal place in the stability of the region. Our assistance is guided by the Australia‑Pakistan Development Partnership which was signed in October 2011, and focuses on health, education, agriculture and rural development. Due to the volatile security situation and frequent natural disasters, Pakistan is a difficult operating environment.


Strategic goals Australia's response
SAVING LIVES
Pakistan's maternal mortality rate is high, with 260 out of 100,000 mothers dying during childbirth and only 39 per cent of births attended by skilled medical personnel.123 Child health and nutrition requires serious attention. One in 11 children will die before reaching the age of five.124 It is estimated that more than 30 per cent of children under the age of five are under-nourished and that the level of acute malnutrition — 15 per cent of children under the age of five — is critical. In 2012‑13, Australia will support activities to improve health and reduce malnutrition for women and children in Pakistan. In the selected districts of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Australia's assistance will help to screen up to 200,000 children for malnutrition and provide nutrition support for up to 180,000 women.
PROMOTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL
Almost half of Pakistan's adult population is illiterate.125 Only two-thirds of primary school-aged children go to school and over a third of those will drop out before reaching high school.126 Attendance at school for many children was disrupted by the 2010 floods which damaged more than 8,000 schools. Australia will support activities to improve the quality of, and access to school for boys and girls in Pakistan. We will focus on basic education to improve Pakistan's progress toward the MDGs. In 2012‑13, Australia will help to improve the quality of education in over 500 schools in Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, aiming to reach more than 145,000 children. In 2012‑13, Australia will also provide scholarships to approximately 50 Pakistani professionals to undertake long-term post-graduate study and 22 professionals to undertake short-term study.
SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
According to the World Bank, 109 million people, some 63 per cent of Pakistan's population, live in rural areas.127 While agriculture generates 21 per cent of Pakistan's gross domestic product and 45 per cent of its employment, this sector is underdeveloped.128 In 2012‑13, Australia will help Pakistan to increase agricultural production and to improve the incomes of farmers and rural communities. We will support better farm management practices and introduce improved irrigation methods to help farmers produce higher yields. We will support livelihoods in border areas by providing basic work skills training for more than 1,600 people and supporting 150 new community organisations to implement community infrastructure projects.
HUMANITARIAN AND DISASTER RESPONSE
Australia has provided humanitarian assistance to Pakistani communities affected by natural disasters and conflict. For example, Australia's support following the floods in 2010 and 2011 provided emergency shelter and food to thousands of people in the worst affected areas. Australia provided assistance to more than 160,000 people affected by the floods in southern Pakistan in August and September 2011. Australia will continue to provide post-disaster assistance as required, and will support disaster risk reduction activities across Pakistan.

Regional programs

SOUTH ASIA REGIONAL PROGRAMS

2012-13 Estimate: $7.9 million

The Regional program addresses the common regional challenges of maternal and child health, nutrition, climate change, economic integration and infrastructure connectivity.

Strategic goals Australia's response
SAVING LIVES
South Asia's rate of child malnutrition remains the highest in the world, even compared to sub-Saharan Africa. Stunting affects up to half of the children in several countries. Some progress has been made on reducing child and maternal deaths in several countries, but such efforts have not yet benefited the hard to reach populations. Australia will support regional initiatives (such as World Bank South Asia Food and Nutrition Security Initiative) to increase access to maternal, child and newborn health services. Emphasis will be on supporting countries to implement policy reforms to reach the underserved, ensuring newborns live beyond their first month of life and tackling maternal and child malnutrition. Our funding for family planning reforms (through protection provided by contraceptive methods) will help reduce an estimated 240,000 unintended pregnancies over four years.
SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Climate change and natural disasters are an acute threat to development in South Asia. An estimated 750 million people have been affected by natural disasters over the last 20 years. The poorest of the region are the most vulnerable, with the potential for unpredictable river flows, intense weather events and sea-level rise to have a major impact on water and food security. In cooperation with the World Bank, Australia will strengthen regional institutions that manage water resources and improve knowledge to trigger better regional river basin management.
EFFECTIVE GOVERNANCE
South Asia remains the least integrated region in the world, politically and economically. Trade flows within the region account for less than five per cent of GDP, compared to 40 per cent for East Asia. This has resulted from longstanding political tensions, poor connectivity, endemic corruption and weak regional institutions. Australia will continue to partner with the World Bank and Asian Development Bank to improve economic management and promote reforms in regional infrastructure, energy, urban development, public financial management and anti-corruption. We will continue with technical assistance measures to support South Asia's regional institutions, particularly the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation.

2.4. Africa and the Middle East

Overview

Australia has a modest and carefully targeted development assistance program in Africa. Africa is the world's most impoverished continent, with the highest proportion of people living in extreme poverty in the world. By 2015, 38 per cent129 of sub-Saharan Africa's expected population of approximately 900 million130 people will live in poverty.

Across the Middle East and North Africa, 9 million people live on less than US$1.25 a day and more than 46 million people live on less than US$2 a day.131 Positive regional trends mask a picture of uneven development. A number of states in the region are falling far behind in bridging the gap between urban and rural areas. Large populations within middle income countries are struggling with long-term unemployment and rising food prices. The Middle East is undergoing political and social upheaval with major humanitarian consequences — almost 4 million internally displaced people are without security and livelihoods.132

Given the high numbers of people living in poverty, global efforts to achieve the MDGs will not be successful without increasing donor engagement with Africa.

Over the next four years, Australia anticipates increasing assistance to Africa and the Middle East from an estimated $465 million in 2012‑13 to an indicative level of $625 million by 2015-16. Of this, around $355 million in 2012‑13 will be directed to sub-Saharan Africa, the region most off‑track in achieving the MDGs. For effective delivery we will partner with larger organisations that have a solid track record, including multilateral and non‑government organisations, and by focusing on a small number of sectors where we can make the biggest difference.

Estimated ODA by strategic goal in 2012‑13

Estimated ODA ($m)
(2012‑13 to 2015-16)

Saving lives 19%

Estimated ODA ($m) - (2012-13 to 2015-16)

Promoting opportunities for all 12%
Sustainable economic development 39%
Effective governance 13%
Humanitarian and disaster response 14%
Cross-cutting 3%
Total 100%

We will build on our recent achievements, which include:

  • giving 9.7 million people across the Horn of Africa lifesaving food assistance. Australia was one of the first donors to respond to the food crisis in the Horn of Africa in 2011;
  • helping to vaccinate 7 million children against measles and 8 million children against polio in Tanzania, and providing 3,000 women with free fistula surgery in Ethiopia in 2011;
  • providing 70,000 small farmers with seeds and farming equipment and 94,000 farmers with training in Zimbabwe;
  • helping 15,500 households in East Africa in 2010 enjoy food security through increased crop and livestock diversity;
  • providing the opportunity for more than 500,000 Palestinian refugees to attend school in West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan in 2011 — around 50 per cent of school enrolments were girls, demonstrating an important step towards promoting equal rights for women in Palestinian society; and
  • providing 115 fully‑funded agricultural scholarships to Iraqi officials and training over 300 officials and scientists in modern agricultural policies and practices since 2008.

Estimated ODA to Africa and the Middle East in 2012-13: $465.0 million

Estimated ODA to Africa and the Middle East in 2012-13: $465.0 million

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA133

2012-13 Estimate: $354.6 million

Notwithstanding strong recent economic growth, sub-Saharan Africa performs worse than any other region on almost every measure of development. Thirty-three of the world's 48 least developed countries are in sub-Saharan Africa.134 Forty-seven per cent of the population lives in absolute poverty, on less than US$1.25 a day.135 It is the poorest region in the world and most off-track to meet the MDGs by 2015. The 10 countries in the world with the least progress towards reducing infant mortality are in sub‑Saharan Africa. The region has the highest proportion of people without access to an improved source of drinking water. Natural disasters and civil conflicts impact the development of African countries and climate change is a major threat to food security and water resources.

With rapidly increasing links through trade, investment and migration, Australia has a national interest in helping sub-Saharan Africa to overcome these challenges. Trade links with the region are increasingly important with annual trade with Africa expanding by almost a third over the past year to $8.5 billion.136 Current and future investments by Australian companies in Africa in the resources sector alone are worth an estimated $20 billion.137 Public donations to Australian non-government organisations operating in Africa indicate strong community interest in aid to Africa. Sub-Saharan Africa's development trajectory and political and institutional environment differ greatly across its 48 countries.

As a relatively new and small donor, Australia's aid program focuses on areas where there is significant need, where we have particular strengths and on those areas where we can make a difference, including water and sanitation, maternal and child health and food security. Our assistance is guided by Looking West: Australia's strategic approach to aid in Africa 2011‑15 and targets maternal and child health, water and sanitation and agriculture and food security. Australia is growing its program in Africa through partners with experience and an active presence in Africa. To maximise impact, Australia aligns its efforts with those of African governments and institutions, multilateral organisations and trusted partners who can deliver results for Africa's poor.

Strategic goals Australia's response
SAVING LIVES
Sub-Saharan Africa is not on track to achieve the MDG targets for water and sanitation and funding for improved water and sanitation is not adequate. Access to safe water and effective sanitation is essential to reducing preventable diseases like diarrhoea, thereby improving health outcomes. Forty per cent of people do not have access to safe drinking water and 70 per cent of people do not have access to improved sanitation facilities.138 Climate change will make progress on water coverage harder to achieve, with 75 to 250 million people likely to be exposed to water stress in Africa by 2020.139 Ethiopia, South Sudan and Tanzania have some of the highest number of maternal deaths in the world. As a post-conflict, newly independent country, South Sudan faces considerable challenges in improving its maternal and child health indicators, with only 10 qualified midwives for a population of 8.3 million.140 While Tanzania and Ethiopia have made great strides in reducing maternal deaths over the last ten years — from 920 to 790 and 750 to 670 per 100,000 respectively — both countries remain off-track to achieve the MDG targets. Over the next four years, Australia's water and sanitation program will deliver services to towns, improve water management and fund sanitation service delivery. In 2012‑13, Australia will deliver access to safe water for 39,000 people in Zambia, 39,000 people in Malawi and more than 100,000 people in Mozambique, and restore water services to 1.1 million people in Zimbabwe. We will improve sanitation services for more than 4,000 people in Zambia, 46,000 people in Malawi and 40,000 people in Mozambique and restore sanitation services to 1 million people in Zimbabwe. We will improve local management of water resources in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia. In 2012‑13, Australia will continue to help the Hamlin Fistula Foundation expand services in Ethiopia, including treating 2,300 women for obstetric fistula and graduating 16 new midwives. Australia will also help the Government of Ethiopia to deliver an ambitious maternal and child health program. This will help increase the proportion of births attended by skilled birth attendants from 18.4 per cent to 58 per cent and increase immunisation coverage from 66 per cent to 88 per cent of children.141
PROMOTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL
Sub-Saharan Africa needs the skills to manage economic growth and development if progress is to be sustained. Africa's human resource base remains low, with university enrolment increasing to only 6 per cent in 2007 from 4 per cent in 1999.142 Without the skills to manage economic growth and development, Africa will continue to rely on external assistance. Australia's scholarships program in Africa will provide valuable skills and research in priority sectors which drive African development, including agriculture and mining. Australia will provide 1,000 scholarships in 2013.
SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole remains the world's most food insecure region, with 26 per cent of the population undernourished.143 On average, poor Africans spend 60-80 per cent of their income on food.144 Inadequate agricultural research, poor soil and water management, lack of agricultural inputs (for example seeds and poor infrastructure) are all contributing factors. In 2011, 25 African countries committed to spend at least 10 per cent of their national budgets on agriculture, in line with the African Union's agriculture framework.145 Despite a tentative recovery in livelihoods and food production, 3.7 million Zimbabweans remain chronically malnourished.146 Zimbabwe's infrastructure is also decaying after years of neglect. Access to electricity is intermittent and threatens the Zimbabwean economy's fragile recovery. In 2012‑13, our activities will support 4,000 smallholder farmers in Kenya and Uganda to increase food production and diversify their incomes. Our assistance in Tanzania will help improve the well-being of 10,000 rural female‑headed households, using village savings and loans. In northern Kenya, Australia will aim to reduce hunger and extreme poverty in 15,000 chronically food insecure households with regular, guaranteed cash transfers. In 2012‑13, Australia's support for private-sector activities in Zimbabwe will benefit the rural poor by providing 350,000 people with training, access to markets, employment opportunities and increased assets. AusAID, CSIRO and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) are working together to increase long-term agricultural productivity. In 2012‑13, CSIRO will implement crop and livestock research projects and build the capacity of young scientists. ACIAR's work in east and southern Africa is expected to improve maize and legume productivity by 30 per cent and to reduce the expected downside yield risk by 30 per cent on approximately 500,000 farms within 10 years.
EFFECTIVE GOVERNANCE
Effective governance is critical to Africa's stability and development. Corruption erodes the resources available to deliver effective services. Transparency International estimates that twenty-seven sub-Saharan Africa countries are perceived to suffer very high levels of corruption.147 More than 10 per cent of the wealth derived from Africa's natural resources are lost to corruption. While Africa's growth is increasingly driven by trade and resource extraction, African governments need the capacity to translate the benefits of trade into real development outcomes and progress towards the MDGs. The holding of free, fair and frequent elections is an important indicator of good governance. 2011 was a record election year in Africa, with 28 elections at the national level and two key referenda taking place.148 In 2012‑13, Australia will contribute to improved management of Africa's mining resources by training 200 senior mining sector officials through the provision of training courses, study tours and targeted technical and advisory assistance. In addition, Australia will help build the governance capacity of more than 100 Africans by strengthening their trade and diplomacy skills in order to secure better outcomes for Africa in international negotiations. Australia will also enhance the skills of 80 election administrators from African election management bodies through the delivery of democracy, governance and elections training courses.
HUMANITARIAN AND DISASTER RESPONSE

After consecutive droughts and low levels of the vital April-June long rains, more than 13 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Djibouti (known as the Horn of Africa) were in need of urgent humanitarian food aid in 2011.149 Famine was declared in Somalia in July 2011 and a mass exodus of refugees flooded into Kenya and Ethiopia. In famine-declared parts of Somalia, more than half of the population is malnourished, including 450,000 children, and 750,000 people are at risk of death without urgent intervention.150

In West Africa, an emerging food and nutrition crisis, caused by drought, high food prices, and chronic poverty, is affecting millions of vulnerable people across the Sahel region.

Australia was among the first donors to respond to the food crisis in the Horn of Africa in 2011, providing more than $112 million. In 2012, Australian non-government organisations will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to people affected by famine in the Horn of Africa with funds obtained from the Government's Dollar-for-Dollar Initiative. In 2012, Australia will continue to build the resilience of agricultural communities in the Horn of Africa and reduce risks to livelihoods. In 2012, Australia is also responding to the food and nutrition crisis in the Sahel by providing food assistance through building the region's disaster preparedness capacities and helping to protect the agricultural livelihoods of vulnerable populations.

 

Case Study: Australia's Food Security Engagement in Africa

Despite recent economic growth in many parts of Africa, more than one in four people are undernourished and severely affected by poverty and hunger. Food security remains one of the region's greatest challenges, exacerbated by rising global food prices, inadequate investment in agricultural innovation, climate change and environmental degradation. Australia will increase the availability of food in Africa by lifting agricultural productivity. Australia's support builds on African and global initiatives to boost long-term agricultural productivity and the resilience of communities to maintain food security during times of economic stress.

Australia has extensive experience and technology which we can share with our African partners. A research partnership between the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Biosciences East and Central Africa (BecA), will increase crop and livestock productivity, develop control options for livestock diseases, and build local capacity to improve incomes and long-term food security for millions of smallholder farmers in East, Central and West Africa. This partnership is running maize breeding field trials to reduce aflatoxin levels in maize, which is a staple food. By making changes to available varieties, breeding techniques and management practices, this will reduce aflatoxin, benefitting the 11 million small holder farmers who grow maize in Tanzania and Kenya.

Through the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and the ACIAR‑led Australian International Food Security Centre (AIFSC) that is currently being established, Australia is building partnerships to increase African agricultural productivity, introduce more innovative farming systems and improve human nutrition and animal health. For example, in 2012‑13, ACIAR will test and develop farming techniques using drought resistant varieties leading to a 30 per cent increase in maize and legume productivity, reaching up to 500,000 small holder farms in East Africa over ten years.

Australia will also assist people's access to food in Africa by supporting the establishment and improvement of social protection programs that reduce the vulnerability of poor people to shocks and environmental changes such as droughts. For example, Australia's current support to the UK‑led Hunger Safety Net Program in Northern Kenya is delivering regular guaranteed cash transfers to approximately 300,000 chronically food insecure people and is scheduled to scale‑up to over 900,000 beneficiaries by 2015.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

2012-13 Estimate: $110.5 million

In 2011, there was an unprecedented wave of political change across the Middle East and North Africa. Popular protests in Egypt and Tunisia, and open civil conflict in Libya overthrew dictators and began the process of democratic transition. In Syria and Yemen, violence has continued as regimes attempt to hold on to power. Demands for political pluralism, democratic governance, and for economic opportunity brought with it increased uncertainty, fragility and conflict. Absolute poverty in the Middle East and North Africa is low, with approximately 2.7 per cent of the population living under US$1.25 a day. However, the national poverty line presents a more sombre picture, with poverty ranging from a low of 3.8 per cent in Tunisia to a high of 59.5 per cent in Yemen.151 Poverty in Lebanon, Syria and Egypt is estimated at 29, 30 and 41 per cent respectively.152 According to the World Bank, 70 per cent of the Middle East and North Africa's poor live in rural areas. External support is important in ensuring basic services continue to be delivered while new government structures are put in place.

Strategic goals Australia's response
SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
North Africa and the Middle East face serious challenges in securing long-term food security. It is currently the most food import-dependent region in the world, with import dependence tipped to increase from 56 per cent in 2000 to 63 per cent by 2030.153 The region is also one of the most water‑constrained in the world and particularly vulnerable to climate change. Population growth, widespread poverty, high unemployment, especially amongst youth and rising food prices also contribute to food insecurity in the region. Through the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), Australia will introduce new conservation and water efficiency techniques that will deliver increases in crop production. Research will focus on water management in Egypt and on conservation agriculture in Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. Australia is also supporting employment generation programs that improve incomes for 79,000 rural men and women over the next four years. Through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia will also continue to contribute to Egypt's debt relief program in 2012‑13.
HUMANITARIAN AND DISASTER RESPONSE
Revolution and conflict have worsened already weak state institutions, affected state engagement with civil society and made the effective provision of basic services more difficult. During 2011 the number of internally displaced persons in the region has grown rapidly with many lacking essential services and protection systems. Libya has been especially affected by civil war. Australia will support international partners such as the World Health Organization and the International Committee of the Red Cross to provide emergency assistance and basic services to an estimated 900,000 people affected by conflict in the region over the next four years. Australia will also work to clear explosive remnants of war (restoring 53 square kilometres of land to 100,000 people), support victim assistance and provide landmine risk education. Support will be allocated according to need and the capacity of partner governments to respond. Australia will continue to monitor the humanitarian situation in the region and support humanitarian needs as required.

PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

Palestinian Territories flag

Australia's assistance targets the provision of basic services and humanitarian and emergency assistance to refugees, developing the capacity of the Palestinian Authority in support of the peace process, and developing civil society. Palestinian progress towards the MDGs has been variable. There are good prospects for reaching the goals for education, women's empowerment and maternal health. In contrast, there has been slow improvement in child mortality and persistently high poverty levels. The economy of the Palestinian Territories grew by approximately 10 per cent in 2011. However, this was not evenly distributed, and an unstable security situation, unemployment and difficulties in accessing basic services remain concerns for many Palestinians. By identifying priority needs and working through experienced and trusted partners, the aid program contributes to improved living conditions and governance in a challenging environment.

Strategic goals Australia's response
SAVING LIVES
At the current rate of improvement the Palestinian Territories will just meet the MDG for infant mortality. However, chronic disease levels are increasing among all age groups, and health indicators for Gaza are consistently below those for the West Bank. Australian aid will support the main providers of health services for Palestinians. These are the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which supports refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. Together, these agencies will deliver health services through 51 hospitals and more than 140 health centres, as well as providing a range of public health and community-based services.
PROMOTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL
Vulnerable Palestinian children and those of Palestine refugees affected by the long-standing regional conflict face challenges in accessing quality education. Primary school infrastructure has also suffered neglect as a result of decades of conflict. UNRWA operates one of the largest school systems in the Middle East. Australia's general budget support to UNRWA is helping maintain and develop UNRWA's 700 schools across the West Bank and Gaza. Australian funding to UNICEF will help upgrade water and sanitation infrastructure in 246 Palestinian schools. It is expected that 143,250 children (50 per cent girls) and around 3,000 teachers will benefit from this program.
SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
The development of a vibrant private sector is one of the Palestinian Authority's priorities as much of the growth is underpinned by international aid, and concentrated in construction and other non‑tradeable sectors. Border constraints and other external restrictions also continue to impede the expansion of export industries. As well as helping the Palestinian Authority to implement policies that promote economic development, Australian assistance delivered through Australian and Palestinian non-government organisations will provide practical assistance, such as the provision of training and plants and seedlings, to many small-scale farmers and local entrepreneurs, particularly in rural areas. This program is expected to benefit over 50,000 people in low income communities by 2015.
EFFECTIVE GOVERNANCE
A stable and effective Palestinian government is a necessary precondition to achieving a just and sustainable peace with Israel. While significant progress has been made by the Palestinian Authority over recent years in the delivery of basic services, governance and infrastructure, more work is required to strengthen the institutions of government and implement democratic processes in the West Bank. Progress towards effective governance in Gaza depends upon more fundamental political changes. Australia's financial support to the Palestinian Authority is based on its institutional reform plans, with payments linked to specific performance indicators for improved governance that are regularly assessed by the World Bank. A new Australia Awards scholarship program commencing in 2012 will target the improvement of public sector management and legal skills, providing 50 higher degree awards over five years. The first groups of graduates will return to help build the effectiveness of the Palestinian Authority in early 2013.

IRAQ

Iraq flag

Poverty in Iraq is widespread with the World Bank estimating in 2007 that 25.3 per cent of the population live below $US2 a day. The main development challenges facing Iraq are the need to strengthen security and manage ethnic and sectarian violence, improve basic service delivery and governance, rebuild infrastructure, and diversify its economy to create jobs. However, Iraq has enormous economic potential including oil reserves, which if well managed, could fund rapid future growth. Australian aid will focus on agriculture and rural development, public sector management, and delivery of basic services for the vulnerable.

Strategic goals Australia's response
PROMOTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL
Years of conflict and deferred maintenance have degraded Iraq's social infrastructure, leaving many Iraqis with little or no access to essential basic services. Levels of poverty are high and many Iraqis, particularly women and children, live in dire poverty. The difficult security environment, unemployment, poverty and limited government capacity mean many Iraqis are vulnerable and denied access to basic services. Australia is supporting a range of programs in 2012‑13 to improve basic service delivery to vulnerable people in Iraq. We will increase access to education for 1,400 female-headed-households and children affected by conflict in 30 schools. Australia will continue to increase access to water and sanitation facilities for more than 61,000 Iraqis by upgrading and reconstructing water networks. We will provide internally displaced people and returnees with access to housing and infrastructure.
SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Iraq's agriculture sector provides a large employment base and has great potential to contribute to stability through private sector development, poverty reduction and enhanced food security. Australian expertise in food production in similar arid climates and limited arable areas can be applied to the development and strengthening of the sector. In 2012‑13, Australia will continue to support improved agricultural productivity by assisting with salinity management, better farming techniques and improving the management of livestock. Improvements in the capacity and effectiveness of the agriculture sector will be supported through training specialists (scholarships and short-term technical courses), on-the-ground demonstrations and provision of equipment to farmers. With other donors we will continue to support the clearance of landmines providing communities with land for agriculture, building on a program that has cleared 15 million square metres of land to date.
EFFECTIVE GOVERNANCE
Conflict and years of isolation has eroded the Iraqi public service. Rapid progress has been constrained by a complex political environment and limited experience in modern public sector management. Improved public sector governance will be supported in 2012‑13 through the training of approximately 200 Iraqi government officials, either in Australia or in a third country. Courses will focus on human rights, financial management, trade and agricultural management.

2.5. Latin America and the Caribbean

Overview

Around 12 per cent of people in Latin America and the Caribbean live on less than US$2 a day.154 Australia has a small targeted program of assistance to the region.

Latin America and the Caribbean are vulnerable to natural disasters and the impacts of climate change. The region is also susceptible to external economic shocks, and relies heavily on tourism and a limited range of commodity exports. Australia's aid program focuses on areas where Australia has specific expertise to offer, such as disaster management and response, climate change resilience, and human resource development through scholarships and institutional linkages.

Over the next four years, most of Australia's assistance will be delivered through partnerships with effective regional, multilateral, and non-government organisations, and other donors. Our partners include the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United Nations, and the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre (CARTAC).

Estimated ODA by strategic goal in 2012‑13

Estimated ODA ($m)
(2012‑13 to 2015-16)

Saving lives 3%

Estimated ODA ($m) - (2012-13 to 2015-16)

Promoting opportunities for all 14%
Sustainable economic development 50%
Effective governance 12%
Humanitarian and disaster response 13%
Cross-cutting 8%
Total 100%

We are working to achieve the following results:

  • preposition approximately 5,145 metric tonnes of food donated by Brazil in response to natural disasters and food insecurity in Central America through a partnership with the World Food Programme and Brazil;
  • help to increase the incomes of up to 100,000 women in Peru through financial literacy training and access to financial services in partnership with the IDB; and
  • work with other donors to continue to assist the 4,874 residents of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to benefit from a salt water system that uses photo-voltaic energy to produce potable water of better quality, improved reliability and lower cost than the previous supply.

Estimated ODA to Latin America and the Caribbean in 2012-13: $47.7 million

Estimated ODA to Latin America and the Caribbean in 2012-13: $47.7 million

Regional programs

LATIN AMERICA REGIONAL PROGRAM

2012-13 Estimate: $28.0 million

Latin America is a vast geographic region covering countries of Central and South America.155 More than 56 million people live on less than US$2 a day in Latin America (10 per cent of the total population of 542 million). This includes the populations of Bolivia, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua which have between 25 and 32 per cent of their populations living on less than US$2 a day. Many countries in the region have experienced severe economic crises and internal conflict and are increasingly vulnerable to natural disasters and the effects of climate change. Central America in particular experiences high levels of crime and violence.

Australia's development assistance to Latin America focuses on food security, sustainable economic growth, climate change and environmental sustainability. As a relatively small donor to the region, we work through partnerships and invest in areas where Australia can make the biggest difference such as sustainable economic development (including food security, climate change resilience, and increasing family incomes), humanitarian response, and education (including through scholarships and public sector development programs). We are working with Brazil, Chile and Germany, the Inter-American Development Bank and United Nations to help meet critical needs in the region.

CARIBBEAN REGIONAL PROGRAM

2012-13 Estimate: $19.7 million

Poverty in the Caribbean156 is significant, with more than 36 per cent of the population living on less than US$2 a day.157 In Haiti, one of the world's poorest countries, 77 per cent of the population live on less than US$2 a day and 61 per cent live on less than US$1.25 a day. Caribbean countries face some of the challenges usually associated with their small size and physical separation from continental land masses. The small open economies of the Caribbean are vulnerable to external shocks and natural disasters, high unemployment, high debt and weak institutions, and many are facing fiscal and debt distress. Youth disengagement and its link to crime is a significant development challenge. Australia is working CARICOM to address such issues.

Australian assistance is guided by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the members of Caribbean Community in 2009 which provides a framework for cooperation on climate change and disaster risk reduction, economic resilience, scholarships and volunteers, and sport for development.

2.6. Cross Regional Programs

Cross regional programs include allocations for programs that benefit a number of regions, including sector‑based initiatives and measures to improve aid effectiveness.

CROSS REGIONAL PROGRAMS

2012-13 Estimate: $376.6 million

Saving Lives $63.5m

Australia funds cross regional programs that reduce maternal and child mortality, reverse the incidence of malaria and other diseases, and strengthen health systems across the Asia-Pacific region. This includes research and analysis of regional health trends and providing technical expertise to health programs in the Asia-Pacific region to improve their effectiveness.

Cross regional programs aimed at improving access to safe water and basic sanitation include funding for a number of multilateral partnerships that contribute to knowledge management and capacity building. Civil society organisations that deliver programs to improve access to water and sanitation will be directly funded and are expected to deliver improved access to water and sanitation and education on hygiene to approximately 1.8 million people across Africa, Asia and the Pacific over the next four years.

For more information on how the Australian aid program is taking measures to save lives, see Section 4.1.

Promoting Opportunities for All $172.7m

Australia funds cross regional programs relating to education, including scholarships for emerging leaders as well as research and expertise to improve the effectiveness of education programs. Funding is provided for the Australian Leadership Awards, which each year provide scholarships for 200 emerging leaders from Asia, the Pacific, Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa. Short-term Australian Leadership Award Fellowships also support linkages at individual and institutional levels and provide opportunities for fellows from these regions to address priority development areas. There has been a four-fold increase in Fellowships from more than 300 in 2007 to more than 1,300 in 2011, with numbers expected to continue to rise in 2012.

AusAID supports disability inclusive development through targeted programs and by mainstreaming disability across the aid program. AusAID's disability strategy focuses on two key sectors (education and infrastructure) and four countries (Cambodia, East Timor, Samoa and Papua New Guinea). This is supported by disability-specific initiatives that enable people with disabilities to participate, address the barriers to their social and economic participation, and support partner governments' efforts to ensure development efforts meet the needs of all citizens. In 2012‑13, Australia has committed $2 million to support the first ever United Nations Partnership to Promote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a multi-donor trust fund to support countries in implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Cross regional programs on gender focus on women's economic empowerment, women's leadership and peace building, and ending violence against women. For more information on how the Australian aid program promotes gender equality and women's empowerment, see Section 4.2.

Sustainable Economic Development $72.3m

Australia contributes to partnerships with Multilateral Development Banks and the private sector that support poverty reduction efforts around the world while retaining Australia's bilateral identity and country programming focus. Activities complement, and are able to strengthen, AusAID's bilateral assistance program. Many of these partnerships focus on project preparation, technical assistance and knowledge exchange. For example, since 2008, AusAID has contributed US$23 million to the AusAID-World Bank East Asia and Pacific Infrastructure for Growth Trust Fund. The Fund has resulted in US$3.3 billion in World Bank lending for projects including major energy projects in Indonesia and Vietnam and a large urban youth empowerment project in Papua New Guinea. For more information on how the aid program is addressing infrastructure constraints see Section 4.3.

Australia continues to support the AusAID led six year Enterprise Challenge Fund (ECF) pilot which commenced in 2007‑08. The ECF is a competitive grant program designed to assist in the commercialising of innovative business projects — where access to finance and effective private sector partnerships within developing countries have proved challenging. To date the ECF has provided $9.9 million in competitive matching grants to more than 20 businesses for projects throughout South East Asia and the Pacific. By encouraging business opportunities in new markets, the ECF's goal is to assist in increasing incomes, livelihood opportunities, and access to goods and services for the poor. In 2012‑13, the final year of the ECF, AusAID will focus its attention on the most successful ECF projects in order to maximise the sustainable impact of the program. These leading projects include those that have accelerated the access to mobile banking and micro-insurance for more than 350,000 people in rural areas of Cambodia, and developed innovative and sustainable methods to expand smallholder involvement in the beef export and teak plantation industries in the Pacific.

Through the International Climate Change Adaptation Initiative, Australia assists vulnerable countries to undertake practical adaptation activities, improve their understanding of climate change impacts, assess their vulnerability to climate change, and prepare strategic plans. For more information on how the Australian aid program supports climate change in developing countries, see Section 4.3.

Effective Governance $40.1m

Cross regional programs relating to governance and social development aim to strengthen community leadership, improve government and public sector effectiveness, enhance citizens' engagement with government, and supports anti-corruption efforts in the Asia-Pacific region. The Human Rights Fund supports the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Asia-Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions and the Human Rights Grants Scheme. In addition to the Fund, Australia's aid program supports human rights through bilateral, regional and thematic programs, and through high-level dialogues on human rights.

For more information on how the Australian aid program supports effective governance in developing countries, see Section 4.4.

Other $28.1m

Under the cross regional program, support is provided for Australian Government departments to undertake development programs, for example:

  • Government Partnerships for Development, which enhances the contribution of Australian government agencies other than AusAID to international development. New funding will establish a Government Partnerships for Development facility which will support partnerships between federal and state government agencies, and peer agencies in ODA-eligible countries in Asia and the Pacific.
  • Direct Aid Program, that DFAT provides small grants to advance development objectives and address humanitarian hardship in developing countries, administered in more than 80 developing partner countries through 58 overseas posts.

 

New Initiative: Government Partnerships for Development

The Government will invest an additional $52.8 million over four years to establish a Government Partnerships for Development Facility that will:

  • enhance the contribution of Australian government agencies other than AusAID to international development; and
  • enable developing country governments to promote poverty alleviation and sustainable development by drawing on the institutional experiences and technical knowledge of Australian federal, state and territory agencies.

The Facility, which will expand on the current Public Sector Linkages Program, will support partnerships between federal and state government agencies, and peer agencies in ODA-eligible countries. Partnerships will involve activities such as internships in Australia for developing country officials, short or long-term placements of Australian officials in developing country agencies, policy dialogue roundtables, training workshops, joint policy research and publication and joint project evaluations.

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