The Australian Government will provide an estimated AUD32.2 million, equivalent to TOP55.67 million, in official development assistance to Tonga in 2013-14.
"Australia is committed to its Partnership for Development with Tonga. This latest round of funding will support the steps being taken by Tonga to build a resilient economy and promote development that is sustainable and inclusive," said Australia's High Commissioner to Tonga, HE Mr Brett Aldam.
Australia's development assistance to Tonga is part of the Government's overall commitment to increase the size of the Australian aid program to AUD5.7 billion from AUD5.2 billion in 2012-13. This will increase Australia's Official Development Assistance to 0.37 per cent of its Gross National Income (GNI).
Australia remains committed to increasing its ODA to 0.5 per cent of GNI, however, the Government has decided to defer this scale up by one year to 2017-18.
"Australian assistance in 2013-14 will remain focused on supporting the Government of Tonga's efforts to boost economic development and promote health and education service delivery," said Mr Aldam.
New initiatives in the 2013-14 program for Tonga include a multi-year investment to improve basic education and learning outcomes, installing solar power in nine outer islands in partnership with the Asian Development Bank, a governance and parliamentary support program to be delivered by the UNDP, and initiatives to improve the political, economic and social advancement of women.
The 2013-14 Budget continues to implement the Government's Comprehensive Aid Policy Framework (CAPF). The CAPF enables the Australian Government to work together with Tonga to better plan and implement aid investments more effectively, delivering better results for the people of Tonga.
The 2011-12 Annual Review of Aid Effectiveness, which was released in January, demonstrated that Australian aid is effective and represents value for money. It also showed that Australia is making real progress towards the targets announced in the 2012-13 budget.