27 Apr 2006

AUSAID says it will now take four pronged attack to aid spending

8:14 pm on 27 April 2006

The Australian government's international aid agency, AusAid, says its new aid policy, which involves doubling its spending in the Asia Pacific region to 30 billion US dollars, will be untied from Australian and New Zealand companies.

From now on aid contracts will not just be given to companies and individuals from those countries but will be open to all nationalities.

Australia will also double the number of educational scholarships it offers in the region to nineteen thousand.

The Assistant Director General for the Aid White Paper Secretariat in Ausaid, Peter Versegi, says they are adopting a four pronged approach to spending the money.

"Accelerate economic growth, the second one is to improve government performance, the third is the investing in people particularly in health and education and the fourth one which is an interesting one for the Pacific is the promotion of regional stability and cooperation."

Mr Versegi says they will also be working on the sensitive issue of land tenure and taking a performance incentive base to their allocations.