26 Apr 2006

Australia to double its foreign aid spending in the Asia Pacific region

4:59 pm on 26 April 2006

Australia's Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, says he will outline plans to double Australia's foreign aid spending today.

The Pacnews agency reports that Mr Downer will release a policy on lifting aid to 2.9 billion US dollars annually by 2010.

The policy will keep the aid focus on Papua New Guinea, the South Pacific, Indonesia and Asia.

The doubling of aid will mean more cash for health and education, although officials say the focus will remain on the current emphasis of law and order, and good governance.

The policy advisory group is calling for anti-corruption policies to be part of the aid mainstream and for an investigation of migration from the Pacific Islands to Australia.