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2012/13 Expenditure

$14.3 million

2013/14 Proposed Expenditure

$9.9 million


Expenditure is total official development assistance inclusive of DFAT’s bilateral program, flows from DFAT regional and global programs and other government departments.

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


Australia's development assistance in the Caribbean is a modest program with the bulk of assistance delivered through regional and multilateral partners. We focus mostly on building skills and expertise by supporting selected regional institutions and frameworks, benefiting multiple countries across the region. We contribute to improving effectiveness of communities, regional partners and nations to reduce the impact of climate change and natural disasters; we contribute to an enhanced ability within the Caribbean to manage and respond to economic challenges; and we promote opportunities for interaction between Caribbean, Australian and Pacific citizens and leaders which add to Caribbean knowledge and capacity to address climate change, natural disasters and economic challenges.

Australia and the Caribbean region have an effective development partnership guided by a Memorandum of Understanding with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

Australia has invested $56 million in the Caribbean region in the previous three years. Our investment has contributed to important development results including:

  • improved education opportunities, with 48 long-term and 33 short-term Australia Awards since 2011; and sports for development activities reaching more than 18,000 children
  • networks fostered between the Caribbean and the Pacific through joint training and workshops in climate change including cooperation between the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre and the Pacific Regional Environment Programme.
  • technical and financial assistance helped reduce trade barriers for CARICOM countries.

More on results can be viewed on the ‘See our results tab’ above.

Australia expects to provide $14.3 million in development assistance to the Caribbean region in 2012-13. We will:

  • continue to improve financial sector regulation and reduce barriers to regional trade through the International Finance Corporation and the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre
  • offer 58 Australia Awards in the 2013 intake in priority areas such as natural resource management, engineering, economics, education and natural resource management
  • support the Caribbean in the development of a regional framework for reducing coral reef vulnerability to climate change.

More on expected outcomes can be viewed under the ‘See our results’ tab above.


Results 2011-2012

  • 28 scholarships awarded for 2012 from 10 countries, with 51 awardees to date.
  • Helped prepare Caribbean diplomats for major political and diplomatic challenges such as climate change and trade. 51 participants to date.
  • 4 volunteers placed in Dominica, and administrative government-to-government arrangements put in place for Suriname and the Dominican Republic.
  • 38 people from 13 Caribbean countries completed development fellowships, attending Department of Foreign Affairs training, and training in the areas of sports administration, fisheries management, HIV and health.
  • Sports for development programs reached over 18,000 children and adults including people with disability. Engaged over 600 children and adults with disability in the Ready and Able program, and over 500 children in Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, St Lucia, Guyana, and St Vincent and the Grenadines in Jump Rope for Heart, a healthy lifestyle through skipping activity. Raised awareness of HIV/AIDS through the Kicking AIDS out program in Jamaica, St Lucia, Guyana, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad & Tobago.
  • Networks were fostered between Caribbean and Pacific through joint training and workshops in climate change:
    • MOU between Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre and the Pacific Regional Environment Programme
    • Climate change workshop in Samoa in May 2011
    • Rio+20 lead up conference in Barbados in May 2012.

Commitments 2012–13

  • 40 Australia Awards Scholarships have been offered in 2013 in priority areas such as natural resource management, engineering, economics, education and environmental management. 110 Australia Award Scholarships to be provided over four years from 2011.
  • Establish the Australia Award alumni activity for 2013 – 30 scholars attending workshop and reception in January 2013. The alumni will be incorporated locally with supporting website and linked to the Australia Awards Scholarships global network.
  • Place up to 20 Australia Awards Fellowships in the University of Canberra’s ‘Enhancing Sport’ program commencing May 2013.
  • Place two more volunteers in Dominica and two in Suriname, finalise governance arrangements for Belize, St Vincent & The Grenadines and CARICOM Secretariat. Up to 30 volunteers completed assignments in Caribbean countries by June 2014.
  • Facilitate Caribbean and Pacific Island countries working together at international fora addressing common climate change issues in the Pacific and the Caribbean.
  • Ready and Able program to be expanded to Belize, Guyana, Jamaica and Suriname.

More about education

Economic development

Results 2011-2012

  • Improved capacity of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (5Cs) to attract and manage climate change funding and projects. With Australia’s assistance, 5Cs increased staffing from 10 to 46, and attracted over 5 million pounds sterling to support their climate change implementation plan.
  • Improved capacity to manage disaster risk reduction (DRR) funding and strengthened disaster preparedness by Caribbean governments and communities. A framework for assessing and prioritising DRR in vulnerable communities was developed and tested. 40 households in one community in Dominica reduced their vulnerability to flooding through improvements to infrastructure. Three regional warehouses (Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago) were restocked with relief stores to enable them to respond to disasters rapidly. Public awareness campaigns on coastal hazards were conducted in four countries (Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, and Trinidad & Tobago). 66 tradesmen in Dominica were trained in safer building techniques.
  • Climate change risk profiles developed for 5 countries (Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines) which assist countries to adapt to climate change with practical strategies.
  • Increased regional climate change knowledge through education and research by providing financial support to postgraduate scholarships for study with the University of West Indies, Open Campus (6 commenced). 4 short-course e-learning modules on climate change issues were completed and made available to students.
  • Increased awareness in the region of the likely economic and social impacts of climate change on energy, marine resources, and the health, agriculture, water and tourism sectors through a climate change cost modelling project.
  • A small grants program for community-level climate change adaptation activities commenced in 15 Caribbean countries (Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago)
  • 38 Caribbean officials attended a workshop in July 2011 to enhance their technical awareness of coral reef management.
  • Australia supported and co-chaired with Belize the 26th General Meeting of the International Coral Reef Initiative in December 2011 (La Reunion) and July 2012 (Cairns).
  • Desalination plant powered by renewable energy built in St Vincent and the Grenadines helped nearly 5000 people by producing potable water that is of higher quality and two-thirds of the cost of importing water from other islands.
  • Technical assistance helped strengthen tax and customs administration, public financial management, and financial sector and capital markets regulation across the region. Australia supported the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre to broaden its donor base and maintain three public financial management and one finance sector advisors. In 2011, these advisors provided 414 days of technical assistance to 20 countries and trained more than 4,000 national finance agency officials.
  • Technical and financial assistance helped reduce trade barriers for CARICOM countries. Trade logistics reform recommendations were formulated, action plans prepared and advisory services initiated in five CARICOM countries. Procedural manuals were prepared to increase transparency to import and export goods in St Kitts and Nevis, and Grenada. A Peer to Peer Learning Event was held and a Regional Action Plan for Port Operations Reform prepared. The project delivered legal advice on Customs Act in Grenada and a legal review of the St Kitts Port Authority Act.
  • Technical and financial assistance helped mitigate the risks of transitioning to the Caribbean Single Market and Economy, reducing barriers to flows of goods, services, capital and labour. The project finalised six country assistance programs focusing on economic resilience and enabling environments for export enterprises.
  • With the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Secretariat, key land management challenges were identified and generic guidelines and national land policies were developed to improve data exchange in Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, and St Lucia.
  • Contributed to reconstruction of the St Jude Hospital (St Lucia) destroyed by fire in 2009. Australian funding was used for an environment impact assessment, a geotechnical assessment, preparation of tender documentation, and project management costs.

Commitments 2012–13

  • Continued implementation of the program with the 5Cs advancing efforts of the region’s climate change-related program, both regionally and internationally.
  • Continue to contribute to the management of the Comprehensive Disaster Management – Harmonised Implementation Programme assisting regional efforts in disaster management.
  • Strengthen the capacity of Caribbean technical experts to use existing macroeconomic frameworks to inform cross-sectoral development planning through a project with UN Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean.
  • Continue to improve financial sector regulation and reduce barriers to regional trade through the International Finance Corporation and the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre.
  • Develop a detailed coral reef management framework for Caribbean coral reefs including pilot projects in Belize and St Lucia and a resource kit for reef managers.
  • Australia to co-chair and support Belize to host the 28th General Meeting of the International Coral Reef Initiative to be held in Belize in 2013.
  • Support for potential PhD researchers in climate change adaptation (University of West Indies).
  • The CARICOM Development Fund in St Vincent and the Grenadines will fund paving works, runway lighting and generators for the new airport. Similarly in Guyana, for farm-to-market access roads, and in Dominica, operation and management of two multi-purpose pack houses at Portsmouth and Roseau.
  • In October 2012, 37 key experts and decision-makers from across the region attended two workshops led by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority as part of the development of a regional framework for reducing coral reef vulnerability to climate change.

More about economic development


Results 2011-2012

  • Haiti: Following the devastating earthquake in January 2010, Australia’s humanitarian response included emergency support, reconstruction and recovery, and support for cholera outbreaks for improvements to water and sanitation facilities. 3.5 million people were provided with food (World Food Programme); medical services, clean water, education and protection for over 4,800 children (NGOs); Cash-for-Work program for 95,700 people (United Nations Development Programme), and debris was removed. Improved access to clean water and functional sewerage systems helped prevent the spread of cholera. Concrete water tanks were constructed in partnership with Brazil’s aid agency in the very poor rural communities in the districts of Marre Roseau and Pays Pouri. These tanks benefited 280 people with improved access to safe water supply (70 rainwater tanks servicing 60 households and 10 schools). 280 people were trained in water resource management and 40 local tradesmen were trained in concrete rainwater tank construction and maintenance including water quality. Cooperation with Cuba supported 1,047 Cuban medical personnel working in Haiti, including waterproofing, maintenance and electricity generation at hospitals and health centres. Australia’s first Australian Civilian Corp donor liaison officer worked with the Haiti Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC) in Port-au-Prince to coordinate the work of donors and aid agencies. Assisted CARICOM to improve coordination of support in Haiti. Built 25 communal toilet blocks and 25 handwashing stations, installed a solid waste management system (under a private/public partnership). 60,000 people and 22 schools participated in a public information campaign on hygiene and cholera prevention, 40 people were trained as trainers and they delivered 60 community sessions. We supported establishment of the CARICOM Support Unit on Haiti which continues to coordinate policy on community interventions, including coordinating private sector initiatives with the support of an economic advisor funded by Australia through CARICOM. We gave seeds to farmers.

  • St Lucia: Our response to Hurricane Tomas funded an early warning and hydrological monitoring system and rehabilitated 54ha with over 100,000 seedlings planted, and 28 people trained in forest management. Our emergency assistance through the Red Cross and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency helped 7,500 residents in St Lucia access clean water.
  • We partnered with Grenada and the United Arab Emirates to help plan reconstruction of Grenada’s Parliament House destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. 

Commitments 2012–13

  • At completion of phase two of the concrete rainwater tank construction project with Brazil, 5,000 rural poor will benefit from access to water, and students from 20 schools will have drinking water at school and functioning sewerage systems.
  • Provide a further $500,000 for improvements to Haiti’s water and sanitation facilities through CARICOM and the International Organisation of Migration following Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.
  • St Lucia’s reafforestation project will continue to maintain nurseries to maintain the supply of seedlings. Stabilise a target of 50 acres from major landslides and a target of 130 acres for forest restoration and rehabilitation.
  • St Lucia’s early warning system and hydrological monitoring for water management and disaster risk reduction will continue including conducting geophysical and other field studies to map boundaries that border aquifers.
  • Finalise the design phase (2013) and provide technical assistance to assist in the overseeing of reconstruction of Grenada’s Parliament House (planned for 2013– 14).

More about humanitarian

Where is the Caribbean?

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heading foldWhy we give aid


Countries in the Caribbean face a range of development challenges including poverty, high crime rates, susceptibility to natural disasters and climate extremes and vulnerability to economic shocks. Australia is working with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to help address these issues.

Find out more about why we give aid to the Caribbean


heading foldHow we give aid

In 2012–13, Australia will further consolidate its development assistance partnership with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) which was established in November 2009. Australia will work closely with Caribbean partners, multilaterals and regional donors in climate change and disaster risk reduction, economic development and strengthening knowledge, expertise and capacity.

Find out more about how we give aid to the Caribbean


Last reviewed: 18 January, 2014