19 Feb 2020

Australia's govt slashes aid budget to some Pacific countries

2:32 pm on 19 February 2020

Australia's government has cut its aid budget to some Pacific countries deeply, despite an overall increase as part of its so-called Pacific step-up.

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Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison. Photo: AFP

The figures, obtained by the Opposition Labor party through Senate estimates, show much of that increase has gone to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Nauru.

The coalition government of prime minister Scott Morrison has shrunk the country's aid spending by nearly a billion dollars a year, and the government has just launched a major review of the programme.

Vanuatu has lost 41 percent of its aid over the past five years, Samoa 14 percent, the Cook Islands by 10 percent, and other cuts have been seen for Fiji, Kiribati, Tonga and Tuvalu.

The cuts have also been seen in health programmes in Samoa, Fiji, the Cook Islands and Samoa.

Billions in funding has been redirected to an Australian infrastructure programme.