Overview of Australia's aid program to Latin America and the Caribbean

Latin America

In line with the government’s decision to focus Australia’s aid program on the Asia-Pacific / Indian Ocean regions, Australia is phasing out its aid program to Latin America. The program fulfilled Australia’s commitment to deliver $100 million in development assistance to Latin America over a four year period, from 2010 to 2014.

The funds were used to support regional priorities including economic development, effective governance and humanitarian and disaster response capacity. This included a $22.5 million assistance package for Central America that helped improve citizen security, disaster response and preparedness, rural development, and governance and capacity building. 254 Australia Awards Scholarships were awarded to Latin Americans to undertake PhD, Masters and Vocational/Technical qualifications in Australia, as well as 132 short-term awards.

While there are no new funding commitments from July 2014, some existing activities will continue to be implemented up to 2018. These include financial inclusion projects through the Inter-American Development Bank; food and nutritional security projects through the World Food Program; disaster prevention through the World Bank; projects under the Public Sector Linkages Program; and the completion of Australia Awards Scholarships. Latin American countries remain eligible for some global programs, including the Australia Awards Fellowships, the Endeavour Awards, the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP), the Extractives Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI), the International Mining for Development Centre (IM4DC), the Direct Aid Program and humanitarian assistance.

Caribbean

In line with the government’s decision to focus Australia’s aid program on the Asia-Pacific/Indian Ocean regions, Australia is phasing out its aid program to the Caribbean. The program fulfilled Australia’s commitment to deliver $60 million in development assistance to the Caribbean over a four year period, from 2010 to 2014.

The funds were used to support regional priorities agreed with the Caribbean Community secretariat, including economic resilience, people-to-people and institutional linkages, climate change and disaster risk reduction. 128 Australia Awards Scholarships were awarded to students from the Caribbean to undertake PhD and Masters qualifications in Australia. Australia also provided over $26 million to Haiti for emergency and reconstruction assistance following the 2010 earthquake.

While there are no new funding commitments from July 2014, some existing activities will continue to be implemented up to 2018. These include support for the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre; climate change adaptation activities through the UNDP; financial training activities through the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre; support for the University of West Indies Centre for Resource Management and Environment Studies; and the completion of Australia Awards Scholarships. Caribbean countries remain eligible for some global programs, including the Australia Awards Fellowships, the Endeavour Awards, the Direct Aid Program and humanitarian assistance.