Overview of Australia's aid program to Fiji

How we are helping

2017-18 Total Australian ODA Estimated Outcome
$61.7 million

2018-19 Bilateral Budget Estimate
$35.0 million

2018-19 Total Australian ODA Estimate
$58.1 million

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

Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) constitutes a relatively minor proportion of Fiji's GNI at approximately 2.5 per cent.

The Australian Government will provide an estimated $58.1 million in total ODA to Fiji in 2018-19. This will include an estimated $35.0 million in bilateral funding to Fiji managed by DFAT.

Australia's development assistance focuses 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 live in informal settlements.

Australia's aid program works in partnership with the Government of Fiji in support of Fiji's development. Australian aid complements other donors and plays a major role in leveraging the public and private sectors to deliver meaningful results.

Australian aid is catalytic and complementary; we are Fiji's leading donor in health and education and a major donor in private sector development and governance.

Australia's development assistance targets the cross cutting issues of gender equality, disability inclusion, disaster risk management and support to civil society.

Support to civil society in Fiji is informed by the Australia-Fiji Civil Society Engagement Strategy 2016-2019. The Strategy articulates how Australia engages civil society organisations (CSOs) to deliver its aid objectives in Fiji.

Australia's development assistance to Fiji aims to achieve three strategic objectives:

Objective 1: Increased private sector development

Australia supports good governance and invests in the private sector to stimulate growth. We provide technical assistance and funding for programs that increase opportunities for employment and income generation, particularly in rural communities.  We are 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 focuses 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 works 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

Objective 3: Tropical Cyclone Winston recovery

Tropical Cyclone Winston, the strongest cyclone to impact Fiji, made landfall on 20-21 February 2016, causing 44 deaths and affecting approximately 540,000 people. Following the delivery of $15 million of emergency humanitarian assistance in the immediate aftermath of the cyclone, Australia is supporting the Government of Fiji's recovery and reconstruction efforts through a $20 million longer-term recovery package. We are rebuilding schools and health facilities, replacing damaged medical equipment and restoring water and sanitation services.

Objective 3: Tropical Cyclone Winston recovery

Our results

In 2016-17, Australia's aid program contributed to:

  • rebuilding infrastructure severely damaged by Tropical Cyclone Winston: 18 schools in Ra (12) and Koro island (6), the Waimaro Health Centre in Ra, and co-financing the rebuild of the Rakiraki market with the Fiji Government
  • supporting the Ministry of Health and Medical Services to assume full responsibility for the purchase and delivery of  three vaccines (rotavirus, pneumococcal and HPV), maintaining coverage at 98 per cent nationally and resulting in the reduction of hospital rates by 515 per year for pneumonia
  • supporting the development of the Ministry of Education's 2017-2022 Special and Inclusive Education Policy, which now funds ten teacher aides to support the needs of children with special disabilities
  • achieving 33 per cent improvement in Year 5 Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (LANA) results from 85 disadvantaged schools through our Access to Quality Education Program (AQEP)
  • creating over 200 new full-time jobs through the Market Development Facility's work in the horticulture, agro-export, tourism and export processing sectors, generating an additional USD12 million of economic activity through partnerships with over 60 local businesses
  • the provision of counselling, legal and medical services for 2,761 women survivors of violence (including 33 women with disabilities)
  • the establishment of a network of gender focal points across 22 ministries and Fiji's first policy dialogue with MPs on violence against women led by the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation to support gender mainstreaming efforts, and
  • nearly 18,000 women and girls in rural and remote areas accessing reproductive health services delivered by civil society organisations under our Fiji Community Development Program.

An important milestone for Fiji's bilateral aid program was the establishment of the Fiji Program Support Facility (the Facility) in January 2017. The Facility supports the Australian Government's policy of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the aid program by having multiple aid programs managed by a single contractor.

On 15 November 2017, the Fijian Government released a National Development Plan which outlines Fiji's development priorities for the next five and twenty years. This, together with Australia's Aid Investment Plan for Fiji, forms the basis of a bilateral Aid Partnership that outlines priorities, mutual obligations and targets for Australia's aid program in Fiji.

Last Updated: 8 May 2018
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).