DEAR EDITOR, the Australian government has increased aid to the Pacific, with the region set to receive US$979 million over the next two years.
“The funding was announced in the federal government’s budget, which was delivered in Canberra on May 8, 2018.
“Although the commitment to the Pacific has risen, the size of Australia’s entire overseas aid budget remains frozen at $3.1 billion dollars after deep cuts in recent years.
“The Pacific contribution now represents 30 per cent of Australia’s total aid budget.
“The foreign minister, Julie Bishop, said Australia would strengthen relations with its Pacific partners and “work together” for the region’s stability, security and economic opportunities.
“The money will include funding for undersea communications cables to Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.
“Australia will also open a High Commission in Tuvalu.” [email protected] Radio New Zealand
Meanwhile in the Solomon Islands, Australia is funding an evacuation and youth centre in Malawai Community, in Central Kwara’ae, under Direct Aid Program funding for 2017-2018.
“Second Secretary, Alexandra Little and Justin Iduto’o of the Australian High Commission were delighted to visit the project at the end of March.
“We are so pleased to see the excellent progress made by Malawai community on this project,” said Australian High Commission Second Secretary, Alexandra Little.
“The community has displayed great team work, commitment and organisation in bringing this project together.”
“The centre will also be used to engage youths of our community with productive activities.
“Mothers can use this centre to market their produce, children can be taught in this centre, to be brought up under our norms and beliefs, our way of life, and the community can utilise this centre as a hub”, said Philip Kwato’o, project coordinator of the centre.
“The Direct Aid Program is a small grants program administered by the Australian High Commission. The program is designed to assist community groups improve their livelihoods.” Copyright: Solomon Star.
Thank you Australia!