9 Dec 2005

Australia announces census funding for Pacific countries

4:39 pm on 9 December 2005

The Australian Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Bruce Billson, has announced that Australia will provide 750,000 US dollars towards assisting the 2010 Pacific census.

Mr Billson says more than eight and a half million Pacific Islanders are expected to be counted

Mr Billson says Australia will provide the funds over three years to help seven Pacific Island countries and territories to conduct a census.

He says census details can make a real difference to improving people's lives as it greatly assists policy makers plan for a better future with a major stock-take of current development.

Mr Billson says although some countries in the Pacific have a capacity to conduct censuses, many of the smaller countries struggle to produce reliable statistics that are critical to helping communities.

The project will be supported by aid agency AusAID and the Australian Bureau of Statistics and managed by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.