13 May 2009

Australia promising a significant lift in aid spending by 2015

1:36 pm on 13 May 2009

In its 2009/10 budget, the Australian Government has committed to paying point five of a percent of Gross National Income towards foreign aid by 2015.

The latest budget will increase fractionally to two point nine billion US dollars this year, or point three/four of a percent.

In the Pacific the largest single contribution goes to Papua New Guinea, where a key focus for the aid agency, AUSAID, will be the extension of universal basic education to girls.

PNG and Australia have committed to doubling primary school attendance by 2015.

Significant funding is also being directed at fighting the spread of HIV, strengthening the public service, governance and sanitation.

The Australian Government says its aid will flow through its recently developed Partnerships for Development.

So far these have been signed with PNG, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Kiribati, while discussions are underway with Vanuatu, Tonga, Nauru and Tuvalu.