Australia is providing 8.6 million US dollars towards an initiative that aims to improve access to basic financial services in the Pacific Islands region.
The International Finance Corporation, which is a member of the World Bank group, says the 11.3 million dollar four-year initiative will help improve financial services for women, rural households and enterprises in Papua New Guinea, East Timor and the Pacific Islands.
The Corporation says estimates suggest that fewer than 20 per cent of adults in the Pacific have access to financial services.
Its director for East Asia and Pacific, Karin Finkelston, says the initiative will help expand loans, savings and other basic financial services in the Pacific.
She says the goal is to allow households and businesses to move from every day survival to establishing businesses that are sustainable in the long term.