A healthy and educated population is critical to economic growth and poverty reduction. Australia is assisting Nauru deliver better health and education services by focusing on training, community awareness and improved access. In the health sector, we have supported the Government of Nauru to address non-communicable diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardio-vascular disease. In the education sector, our program has a strong focus on improving literacy and numeracy outcomes, technical and vocational skills development and tertiary scholarships with the aim of expanding employment opportunities for the Nauruan population both domestically and throughout the Pacific region.
Nauru Improved Health
Up to $0.75 million, 2017-2018
The Nauru Improved Health initiative supports Nauru's Health Sector Strategy to deliver improvements in health outcomes. It focuses on: strengthening health system management, in particular budget prioritisation, strategic planning, infrastructure redevelopment and improved health statistics; reducing the prevalence of non-communicable diseases and sexually transmitted infections through more effective preventative and public health programs; improving maternal and child health outcomes by improving child nutrition awareness; and access to quality natal care. In 2018, Australia is undertaking an independent evaluation of its health sector support to Nauru, which will make recommendations for a refocused and improved investment over the period 2018-2020.
Australia also funds a hospital operations manager within the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, as well as the supply of medical equipment and pharmaceuticals, assistance with expatriate nurses' salaries and visits by medical specialists.
In addition, a gender-based violence counsellor/specialist, funded through the Pacific Technical Assistance Mechanism (PACTAM), is working to improve counselling services and increase community awareness of domestic violence and child protection issues. This has included training health workers and developing protocols and standard operating procedures to identify and provide minimum service standards when responding to domestic violence.
Nauru Improved Education
Up to $2.7 million, 2017-2018
The Nauru Improved Education initiative supports Nauru's Education Sector Strategy to deliver education pathways and skills suited to local and regional markets. It focuses on improving the number and quality of teaching staff; increasing the enrolment and retention rates of students; and improving access to relevant high quality tertiary, technical and vocational education services in Nauru and across the region. The overarching goal is to provide better opportunities for Nauruans through building skills that are relevant to both the local and international employment markets.
Australia is providing funds to employ additional teachers and improve internet connections in schools. A new campus for the University of the South Pacific in Nauru will be completed in 2018 within the 'Learning Village', along with a national library and teaching rooms for other tertiary institutions. A technical and vocational education and training (TVET) curriculum will also be implemented through the new facilities to provide internationally-recognised TVET certificates across a range of fields and improve the future job prospects of students.