Overview of Australia's aid program to Fiji

How we are helping

2014/15 Bilateral Outcome
$32.9 million

2015/16 Bilateral Budget Estimate
$35.0 million

2015/16 Total Australian ODA Estimate
$57.8 million

Australia and Fiji have an enduring relationship, underpinned by strong people-to-people links and longstanding trade and investment ties. Australia’s national interest is in a stable and prosperous Fiji that is an active member of the Pacific community.

Rising inequality in Fiji means that development assistance needs to focus on the disadvantaged and marginalised: the rural poor, women and people living with disabilities. Literacy and numeracy skills are declining in school-age children and life expectancy has stagnated. Limited economic opportunities, particularly in rural Fiji, underpin challenging poverty levels and more than 15 per cent of the population lives in informal settlements.

Australia’s aid program will work in partnership with the Government of Fiji in support of Fiji’s development. Australian aid will complement other donors and play a major role in leveraging the public or private sector to deliver meaningful results.

We share the Government of Fiji’s interest in enhancing private sector growth and stimulating the economy in order to generate jobs and incomes for the poor. Following the release of Fiji’s National Development Plan in late 2015, Australia and Fiji will identify jointly agreed priorities for development cooperation which will be reflected in an Aid Partnership.

Australia plans to continue as the lead donor in health and education, areas in which we have historically been the largest contributor and where major ongoing challenges remain. Australia will also focus on private sector development, good governance and gender equality. These new areas of engagement reflect Fiji’s major development challenges as well as Australia’s development cooperation priorities as outlined in the Australian Aid policy.

In order to support inclusive economic growth to reduce poverty in Fiji, Australian aid to Fiji from 2015–16 to 2018–19 will be organised under two strategic objectives:

Objective 1: Increased private sector development

Australia will support good governance and invest in the private sector to stimulate growth. We will provide technical assistance and funding for programs that increase opportunities for employment and income generation, particularly in rural communities.  We will focus on helping the Fijian Government to reform the public sector, streamline business regulations, facilitate trade and bolster accountability institutions.

Objective 1: Increased private sector development overview

Objective 2: Improved human development

To help ensure the benefits of economic growth are shared by all Fijians, Australia will focus on improving access to quality health and education services, particularly for disadvantaged segments of the population, including the rural poor, women and people living with disabilities. Australia will work with the Government of Fiji and the private sector to strengthen the key systems, policies and capacities that underpin quality services and ensure value for money.

Objective 2: Improved human development overview

Our results

Our results for 2014–15 will be updated later this year.  In 2014, Australia's aid program contributed to:

  • Increasing the number of trained midwives by 25%;
  • leverage almost $2 million through the Market Development Facility in private sector investments across the tourism and horticulture sectors, generating $840,000 in new business activity;
  • renovate 197 classrooms in 2014, benefitting over 5000 students though Australia’s Access to Quality Education Program; and
  • Fiji’s successful national elections held in September 2014 by providing technical assistance to the Fijian Elections Office and co-leading the Multinational Observer Group.

Our changing program

In a period of limited engagement with Fiji, between 2006 and 2014, Australia’s development assistance was primarily focused on health and education initiatives at the community level. Following Fiji’s national elections in 2014, we are expanding our program to include support for effective governance, private sector development and gender equality. 

The Fijian Government has committed to a National Development Plan which will outline Fiji’s development priorities for the next five and twenty years. This, together with Australia’s Aid Investment Plan for Fiji, will form the basis for a bilateral Aid Partnership which will outline priorities, mutual obligations and targets for Australia’s aid program in Fiji.

A man standing alongside a river
Aquaculture supports coastal livelihoods (credit: DFAT).
Children sitting around a game on a piece of paper
Australia supports the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme and Fiji’s Ministry of Education to incorporate financial education into Fiji’s national school curriculum (credit: DFAT).
Two men looking at an electronic device
An automotive engineering course at the Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC), Fiji (credit: DFAT).