APIA: Monday 14 May 2012: In the 2012-13 Australian budget announced on Tuesday, the Australian Government has allocated an estimated WST105.2 million ($A45.5 million) in official development assistance to Samoa – an increase of 8 per cent over the allocation for 2011-2012. Australia is Samoa’s leading development partner.
“Australia is committed to working in partnership with the Government of Samoa to overcome poverty, as shown by the increase in funding of more than WST6.9 million ($A3 million),” said Australian High Commissioner, Dr Stephen Henningham.
“The Australian Government has been impressed by the Samoan Government’s commitment to macro-economic stability, public financial management reform, and budget discipline,” he said.
This additional allocation to Samoa is part of the Australian Government’s overall commitment to increase the size of the Australian aid program to $5.2 billion from $4.8 billion in 2011-12. This increase will maintain Australia’s Official Development Assistance at 0.35 per cent of its Gross National Income.
Australia is committed to increasing its ODA to 0.5% of GNI by 2016-17. This commitment comes at a time when other donors are reducing their aid programs.
Managed on behalf of the Government of Australia by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), Australia’s aid program in Samoa focuses on four priority areas: effective governance, improved health, improved education, and strengthening of the law and justice sector.
Australian assistance to Samoa in 2012-13 will:
- improve access to primary health care in Samoa and help to reduce rates of non-communicable diseases;
- improve access to education in Samoa and improve the quality of learning at primary schools;
- ensure Government spending is more effective, transparent and accountable.