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Caribbean and Latin America

2013-2014 Budget

Estimated expenditure in 2013-14 across the Caribbean and Latin America region is $31 million. Individual country funding is available on each country homepage.

Implementation of the revised 2013-14 budget is currently under discussion with partner governments and organisations.

2012-2013 Budget

Total Official Development Assistance (ODA) estimate 2012-13: $46.8 million.

2011–2012

Caribbean

Total Official Development Assistance (ODA) estimate 2011-12: $15.9 million

Why we give aid to the Caribbean

Poverty is a real concern for many people in the Caribbean. Across the region 36 per cent of the population are classed as poor. In Haiti, one of the world's poorest countries, 77 per cent of the population live on less than US$2 a day and 61 per cent live on less than US$1 a day.

The devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on 12 January 2010 demonstrated the region's vulnerability to natural disasters. Australia responded quickly to the disaster and has provided $26.2 million to support emergency relief efforts and early recovery and reconstruction needs in Haiti.

Hurricanes and other weather related disasters occur frequently, and are being exacerbated by climate change. The small, open economies of the Caribbean are also extremely vulnerable external shocks, high unemployment, high debt and weak institutions. Youth disengagement and its link to crime is a significant development challenge.

In November 2009 Australia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the members of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to help address these challenges. CARICOM is a key regional organisation for improving living and working standards, economic and trade integration, and foreign policy coordination of its members.

The members of CARICOM that are eligible to receive official development assistance are: Antigua & Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines and Suriname.

The centrepiece of the MOU is a four-year $60 million development assistance program that focuses on climate change and disaster risk reduction ($17.5 million); economic resilience ($10 million); people to people and institutional linkages through scholarships, sport for development and volunteers ($16.5 million); and direct assistance to support areas of priority need identified in consultation with CARICOM ($16 million).

Latin America

Total Official Development Assistance (ODA) estimate 2011-12: $19.4 million

Why we give aid to Latin America

Despite healthy indicators for some countries in Latin America, over one third of the population (over 190 million people), live below national poverty lines. According to World Bank statistics, over 17 per cent of the population of Latin America lives on less than US$2 a day—that is almost 100 million people. In Bolivia, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua more than 40 per cent of the population live on less than US$3 per day.

Income indicators also show that countries in Latin America have some of the world's highest levels of income inequality. Ten of the world's fifteen most unequal countries are in Latin America. The richest 20 per cent of the population accounted for around 60 per cent of the region's income, while the poorest 20 per cent received around 3 per cent.

Australian aid to Latin America supports our commitment to address global poverty and accelerate progress towards achieving the MDGs.

Australia will work in partnership with Latin American countries, non-government organisations, multilateral organisations,and other donors to support initiatives that address poverty and development challenges in the region, with a particular focus on rural development, natural resource governance, climate change and environmental sustainability, and human resource development.

Australia will provide $100 million in aid to Latin America over the next four years. Development assistance will be provided through scholarships, fellowships, volunteers, project grants and joint projects with OECD and emerging donor countries (such as Brazil and Chile) to assist the region's less developed countries.

Australia is already working with the Inter-American Development Bank in Peru, contributing $2 million to a project providing financial literacy training for 100,000 women, and in Colombia, supporting two projects to work with poor and disadvantaged communities in post-conflict regions.

Australia signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Brazil on development cooperation in December 2010. Australia and Brazil are currently working with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture on a project in Haiti that will give poor families access to clean water. Australia is also working with Chile to assist Paraguay to improve the planning and delivery of social services in poor communities.

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Last reviewed: 18 January, 2014