$525m overseas development assistance from Aussie to Pacific

The new Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong and Pacifi c Islands Forum secretary general Henry Puna during the cocktail after their meeting last night. Picture: ATU RASEA

Australia will increase its overseas development assistance to the Pacific by $525 million over the next four years, says newly appointed Foreign Minister Penny Wong.

She said this in her keynote address at the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat last night.

“We will remain a critical development partner for the Pacific family in the years ahead, and Australia will be a partner that doesn’t come with strings attached, nor imposing unsustainable financial burdens,” she said. “We’re a partner that won’t erode Pacific priorities or Pacific institutions.

“We believe in transparency, we believe in true partnerships, we will respect Pacific priorities and institutions, we will support growth that is sustainable.

“We will contribute to the long term security and stability of the Pacific, we will expand opportunities for Pacific workers in Australia, whilst also improving their working conditions.

“We will deepen our defense co-operation and our maritime cooperation

“We will offer quality climate resilient infrastructure and we will increase Australia’s overseas development assistance to the Pacific by $525 million over the next four years as we work with you in the recovery from the pandemic.”

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