Australia announces it will increase development assistance to Africa by 45%
Australia will increase its development assistance to Africa by a further AUD $90 million in 2011-2012 bringing its total to AUD$291.3 million.
"This increase demonstrates Australia's commitment to assist African Governments to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. It also highlights the growing importance Australia places on Africa’s development and its growing linkages to Australia,” said Her Excellency Ms Ann Harrap, Australian High Commissioner in South Africa today.
"Since 2008 Australia has almost tripled its aid to Africa. Our assistance will focus on areas where we can share our expertise and experience including in agriculture and natural resource management," Ms Harrap added. "Australia faces many similar challenges to African countries with prolonged periods of drought and natural disasters such as flooding.and bush fires.”
Australia will provide additional support to train midwives in East Africa and the Horn of Africa to reduce high mortality rates in Ethiopia and Southern Sudan and it will expand its water and sanitation programs in Africa ensuring 112,000 people have improved access to safe drinking water in Mozambique and Malawi.
Australia will also offer more than 750 Australia Awards (scholarships) to at least 40 African countries in 2012. These Awards are aligned to the priorities of African Governments and institutions to strengthen their human resource capacity.
Australia will also maintain strong support for humanitarian needs on the continent including assistance to the crises in Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Australian Government announcement reaffirms Australia's ongoing commitment to scale up its development assistance program to 0.5 percent of Gross National Income by 2015-16 and increase its assistance to Africa. The Australian Government remains committed to ensuring that every dollar spent on aid has the maximum impact on poverty and economic development.
AUSTRALIAN HIGH COMMISSION, PRETORIA