4 May 2016

Pacific protected from cuts to Australia's aid budget

4:34 pm on 4 May 2016
Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison Photo: AFP

An Australian academic says the Pacific has largely been protected from cuts made to Australia's aid budget over the last few years.

The Australian Government cut foreign aid by $US168 million dollars in its latest budget, after slashing its aid programme by $US750 million dollars last year.

Lowy Institute for International Policy Research Fellow Jonathan Pryke said despite those cuts, funding for Pacific bilateral country programmes had remained largely unchanged from the last financial year.

"That is a reflection of both our national and strategic interests in the region and also the development needs that are very prevalent in the Pacific region as well. It's also a very deliberate approach from the coalition government to really consolidate our aid programme into our immediate region."

Jonathan Pryke said the Pacific now received a quarter of all aid from the Australian government, and Papua New Guinea is its largest bilateral recipient.

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Cyclone victims get help in Vanuatu Photo: AFP