Overview of Australia's aid program to the Federated States of Micronesia

How we are helping

2015-16 Total Australian ODA Estimated Outcome for the North Pacific
$10.0 million

2016-17 Bilateral Budget Estimate for the North Pacific
$5.0 million

2016-17 Total Australian ODA Estimate for the North Pacific
$9.8 million

Australia’s aid program in the North Pacific is focused on the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the Republic of Palau and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). The Australian Government will provide an estimated $9.8 million in total Official Development Assistance (ODA) to the North Pacific in 2016-17. This will include an estimated $5 million in bilateral funding to the North Pacific.

Australia’s regional programs complement our bilateral programs across the Pacific. Our regional programs assist FSM including through: support for fisheries management, via the Forum Fisheries Agency; support to prepare for and mitigate the impacts of severe climate, tidal and oceanographic events through the Climate and Oceans Support Program in the Pacific; and support for strengthening governance and accountability through the Pacific Islands Centre for Public Administration, the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre and the Pacific Regional Audit Initiative.

Australia and FSM share a common interest in supporting economic and human development. The two countries enjoy a close bilateral relationship supported by shared regional interests, particularly ensuring maritime and transnational security and sustainable management of fisheries. The physical isolation of FSM along with its small population and fragile natural environment present particular development challenges; transport and communication costs are high, and the skills base of the country is low. As a regional neighbour, Australia is well placed to work closely with the Federated States of Micronesia Government and civil society to support FSM’s development efforts.

Many Micronesians live in poverty, have poor health, and cannot access quality education or work opportunities. Australia is supporting FSM to overcome these development challenges and improve the livelihoods and security of its people, including support for a quality public sector with sound economic policies and a coordinated approach to aid delivery. Our bilateral aid program is organised around the following strategic objectives:

Objective 1: Improving the quality of education

Australia is providing an adviser to assist the FSM Ministry of Education with the effective implementation of a larger Asian Development Bank (ADB) program aiming to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of national education systems in FSM. We are also working to provide long-term support for the ADB’s Improving Quality Basic Education project across FSM. Through our Australia Awards Scholarships and Australia Awards Pacific Scholarships programs we are also helping to build national capacity to drive change and respond to development priorities by providing scholarships for Micronesians to study in Australia and the region.

Objective 2: Building resilience

Australia is implementing the Climate Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction and Education (CADRE) program which aims to build the resilience of vulnerable communities in both FSM and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) to natural hazards, including those that are climate change induced. The program educates school children and communities about climate change and disaster risks, helping them determine appropriate responses and implement priority activities in their local communities to support higher level national plans and strategies.

Objective 3: Achieving gender equality and enhancing women’s empowerment

Australia is working to address issues of gender equality in FSM by funding priority initiatives under the Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development FSM Country Plan 2015–18. This is part of the Australian Government’s Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development regional program which commits $320 million over 10 years to improve the political, economic and social opportunities of Pacific women in 14 Pacific countries. The FSM country plan aims to foster economic empowerment of women, increase the participation of women in public life and decision making and reduce the incidence of gender based violence.

Our results

Our results for 2015–16 will be updated later this year. Australia's aid program has contributed to:

  • updating of FSM’s Environmental Protection Act; Australia also supported the implementation of the new Act through specialist volunteer placements
  • across both FSM and RMI, approximately 10,000 school-aged children in up to 50 schools and surrounding communities becoming more aware of climate change and disaster risks; and
  • 54 Australian scholarship awardees from FSM having completed tertiary studies in Australia and the region since 1996.

Our changing program

Our changing aid program in FSM reflects the priorities of the FSM Government and Australia’s aid policy. The program will have an increased focus on economic growth in line with Australia’s economic diplomacy agenda. We will work in close collaboration with the Government of FSM and other trusted development partners. We have been providing initial technical support for the Palau-FSM ICT Connectivity Project (a joint World Bank-Asian Development Bank initiative) through Australia’s regional Pacific program. We plan to expand our engagement in the education sector through the bilateral program, and in partnership with the Government of FSM and the Asian Development Bank.

The Australian bilateral aid program for FSM will also fund priority initiatives under the Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development FSM Country Plan 2015–18, under the Australian Government’s Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development initiative.

Our aid investments focus on key enablers for economic growth, social stability and development in FSM. We will work together to ensure development resources are effectively and transparently managed.

Last Updated: 3 May 2016