In line with the government’s decision to focus Australia’s aid program on the Asia-Pacific/Indian Ocean regions, Australia is phasing out its aid program to the Caribbean. The program fulfilled Australia’s commitment to deliver $60 million in development assistance to the Caribbean over a four year period, from 2010 to 2014.
The funds were used to support regional priorities agreed with the Caribbean Community secretariat, including economic resilience, people-to-people and institutional linkages, climate change and disaster risk reduction. 128 Australia Awards Scholarships were awarded to students from the Caribbean to undertake PhD and Masters qualifications in Australia. Australia also provided over $26 million to Haiti for emergency and reconstruction assistance following the 2010 earthquake.
While there are no new funding commitments from July 2014, some existing activities will continue to be implemented up to 2018. These include support for the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre; climate change adaptation activities through the UNDP; financial training activities through the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre; support for the University of West Indies Centre for Resource Management and Environment Studies; and the completion of Australia Awards Scholarships. Caribbean countries remain eligible for some global programs, including the Australia Awards Fellowships, the Endeavour Awards, the Direct Aid Program and humanitarian assistance.