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Development assistance in Fiji

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Overview of Australia’s development partnership with Fiji

2020-21 bilateral allocation [budget estimate]
$40.0 million
2020-21 total Australian ODA [budget estimate]
$65.6 million
2019-20 total Australian ODA [budget estimate]
$58.8 million

Australia and Fiji share a strong and enduring bilateral relationship, demonstrated by Prime Minister Morrison’s and Prime Minister Bainimarama’s signing of the 'Fiji-Australia Vuvale Partnership' on 16 September 2019. 'Vuvale' means 'family' in Fijian. This term was chosen to reflect the depth, breadth and warmth of the relationship, and our ambitions for it looking ahead. The Partnership is broad-ranging and comprehensive and builds on the already strong foundations in Fiji-Australia relations. It paves the way for deeper security, economic and people-to-people links.

Australia's development program to Fiji supports Australia’s national interest in a stable and resilient Fiji, that is a key hub for the Pacific community.

Pillar 1 — Health security

Australia is Fiji’s largest public health development partner. In 2020-21, we will further increase support to our health program, which builds institutional capacity, improves patient care (especially maternal, new-born and child health), addresses communicable and non-communicable diseases, and strengthens the health system to respond to crises such as COVID-19. We will support Fiji’s COVID-19 response plan, including important structural work to improve supply chains and equipment procurement, and coordinating with global partners such as the WHO and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to best utilise resources.

Pillar 2 — Stability

As a key Pacific economy and a regional hub, Fiji’s stability is of great importance to the Pacific. Guided by Fiji’s long-term reform and its COVID-19 priorities, we are supporting the Government of Fiji to strengthen national policies and institutions. With growing demand for increased public sector efficiency in light of reduced domestic revenue, Australia’s new governance program will support productive peer-to-peer partnerships with key institutions, including Parliament and (looking ahead to the 2022 elections) the Fijian Elections Office.

Pillar 3 — Economic recovery

Australia moved quickly to respond to the severe impact of COVID-19 on the Fijian economy. We are contributing to Fiji’s efforts to maintain fiscal sustainability. In May and June 2020, Australia repurposed bilateral and other funding to provide budget support worth $19.5 million (including contributions for TC Harold) to promote stability and confidence in Fiji’s fiscal position. Delivered in coordination with ADB, WB and New Zealand, budget support ensures Fiji can finance spending priorities while pursuing priority economic reforms. Further budget support is planned for 2020-21. Separately, our private sector investments were reoriented to find opportunities for the tourist sector to rebound, while economic growth programs began exploring economic diversification opportunities. We will assist Fiji to improve efficiency of service delivery during COVID 19, and complement our cooperation with the promotion of broad-based, private sector-led economic growth.

Our results

Key recent achievements attributable to Australian development assistance in Fiji include:

  • Australia provided cash transfers totalling $5.2m, delivered through Fiji's social welfare schemes as part of Fiji’s response to TC Harold
  • this support is directly benefiting 13 per cent of the population (approx. 118,000 people) and is Australia’s largest cash transfer in the Pacific.
  • Australia’s support for education benefited 51,690 primary students (24,169 girls) across all six provinces, with new curriculum rolled out to 98 per cent of primary schools, continuing professional development for 1,399 teachers and 415 principals, and classroom resources delivered to all 432 primary schools during 2018-19.
  • Australian support to Fiji Women’s Fund advanced gender equality by supporting Medical Services Pacific to provide health and social services to 5,156 clients (2,686 women and 2,470 men, inclusive of 44 people with disabilities).
  • Australia, working with the International Finance Corporation, facilitated a public-private partnership in the Fijian health sector, the first of its kind in a Pacific Island Country.
  • Through our Market Development Facility, we supported local manufacturing of hand sanitiser and face shields
  • Australia provided assistance to support the Fijian Government’s response to TC Sarai, TC Harold and the Kadavu earthquake, including:
  • food rations for 15,235 people
  • post Disaster counselling for 2,167 people (1,079 women)
  • four RAAF flights carrying humanitarian supplies (delivered during COVID-19 border closures), as well as supporting damage assessments and logistics. 
  • In 2019, Australia awarded 85 new Australia Awards to scholars from Fiji to study in tertiary institutions in Australia and the Pacific, and 60 Australian Volunteers worked in Fiji across 34 organisations in 2018-19.
  • Through Australia’s $35 million assistance for Tropical Cyclone Winston, we built two health centres and repaired 34 schools
  • Australia supported an end-to-end review of the pharmaceutical supply chain, recommending reforms that could result in 30-40 per cent savings in costs of medicines and increase their availability across health facilities.
  • Through Australian support, we provided counselling services for more than 9,263 women and girl survivors of violence
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