Building a better educated and healthier population will help improve Kiribati's economic prospects and resilience. Bilaterally, Australia is supporting the Kiribati Government to:
- improve basic education in Kiribati to enable young I-Kiribati to contribute to a productive and resilient community, and pursue further education and employment;
- improve productivity and employability for young I-Kiribati women and men by providing opportunities to develop workforce skills in demand in domestic and international labour markets; and
- reduce the incidence of diarrhea and other diseases through better sanitation and water management by funding the ADB-led South Tarawa Sanitation Improvement Sector Program.
Regionally, the Seasonal Worker Programme, led by the Department of Jobs and Small Business, connects I-Kiribati and other Pacific island workers with Australian employers experiencing labour shortages. In addition, the five-year Pacific Microstates – Northern Australia Worker Pilot Program enables up to 250 citizens from Kiribati, Tuvalu and Nauru to access multiyear visas to work in northern Australia. The new Pacific Labour Scheme will also enable citizens of Kiribati and other Pacific island countries to take up low and semi-skilled work opportunities in rural and regional Australia for up to three years. These initiatives allow workers to build their skills and send remittances home to support their families.
The Australia Awards are an Australian whole-of-government initiative bringing together scholarships and fellowships administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of Education and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). The Australia Awards offer the next generation of Kiribati leaders an opportunity to undertake study, research and professional development in Australia and in the region.
Kiribati Education Improvement Program
Up to $70 million (Phases I, II and III), 2011-2019
Through the Kiribati Education Improvement Program (KEIP), Australia supports the implementation of the Kiribati Education Sector Strategic Plan and its goal of improving the quality of education provided in I-Kiribati schools. KEIP aims to improve access to quality basic education for all girls and boys, including children with a disability. Under KEIP, Australia is working with the Government of Kiribati to provide safe and healthy learning environments, adequate resources, a modern curriculum, professional teachers, and improved management of the education system. KEIP started in 2011 and is currently in Phase III, which commenced in April 2016.
The Kiribati Facility
Up to $20 million, 2016-2020
The Kiribati Facility consists of the Skills for Employment Program (SfEP) and the Flexible Support Facility (FSF).
SfEP is building on the previous Kiribati Technical Vocational Education and Training Sector Strengthening Program (TVETSSP) to develop a more capable, qualified and mobile I-Kiribati workforce. It includes new initiatives to increase the quality and relevance of training at the Kiribati Institute of Technology (KIT) to meet local, regional and international labour market demand and strengthen pathways to employment. This includes a Job Search Centre, work placements, partnerships with Group Training Organisations, and a vocational pathway bridging program to reach young people disengaged from the education system.
SfEP complements Australia's funding to the Australian Pacific Technical College, the Pacific Microstates: Northern Australia Workers Pilot Program and the Seasonal Worker Programme.
The Flexible Support Facility (FSF) will provide DFAT with a flexible delivery mechanism to better manage in-country development across sectors particularly those related to human resource development.
South Tarawa Sanitation Improvement Sector Program
Up to $22 million (Australia contributed up to $13.95 million), 2011-2019
The Asian Development Bank-led South Tarawa Sanitation Improvement Program will support improvements to the health of communities in South Tarawa. This will be achieved through enhanced community engagement in and public awareness of hygiene and sanitation; rehabilitation and upgrading of the existing sewerage network; capacity development to improve sector planning and the operation and maintenance of urban water supply and sanitation services; and the creation of a sanitation maintenance fund to ensure adequate financing for sanitation infrastructure maintenance.
Projects facilitated through the Pacific Region Infrastructure Facility
Up to $34.5 million, 2011-2019
Australia’s support for economic infrastructure in Kiribati has been provided in cooperation with other development partners through the Pacific Region Infrastructure Facility (PRIF) to support the Government of Kiribati to address its most pressing economic infrastructure issues. The Facility is a long-term initiative which commenced in 2008 and involves the Asian Development Bank, Australia, the European Commission, New Zealand and the World Bank.
Through the PRIF mechanism, Australia has supported:
- Road Rehabilitation Project (led by World Bank and Asian Development Bank, 2011 - 2018)
- Assistance on Telecoms Policy and Regulations (led by World Bank, 2011 - 2018)
- Kiribati grid connected solar project (led by World Bank, 2010 - 2018).
- Kiribati Adaptation Project Phase III (led by World Bank)
- Telecommunications and ICT Development Project (led by World Bank, 2011 - 2019).