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Republic of Palau


heading foldHow we are helping

2012/13 Expenditure

$6.9 million

2013/14 Proposed Expenditure

$6.2 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.


In August 2010 Australia and Palau agreed on a new Partnership for Development to reduce poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals. The Partnership guides Australia’s aid to Palau and focuses on improving the quality of teachers, building the skills of health sector workers, and clearing unexploded ordnance such as land mines and cluster munitions. It also provides support to numerous civil society organisations working across a number of sectors.

Australia has invested $14.3 million in total ODA in Palau over the past three years. Our investment has contributed to important development results, including:

  • human resource development in the health sector resulting in a professionalised health workforce and better understanding of strengths and weaknesses in patient care for Palau’s hospital
  • improved quality of Palau’s teacher workforce through the development of a high-quality curriculum for Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL), integrated into Palau’s associate diploma teaching certification requirements
  • the clearance of over 11,000 unexploded remnants weighing more than 35,000 kilograms, from both on land and in the ocean since August 2012 by Cleared Ground Demining. In addition, a national Explosive Remnants of War working group was developed through the Ministry of State.

Australia expects to provide a total of estimated $6.2 million in total overseas development assistance to Palau in 2013–14. Australia remains committed to delivering results in the Palau through the bilateral program, including:

  • a new $3 million, three-year, Explosive Remnants of War clearance project that should see almost all of Palau cleared of ordnance from World War II
  • continued technical assistance to support the new strategic plan of the Ministry of Health and support to build the skills of nurses through the Fiji School of Nursing and a leadership and management training program for health sector senior management
  • replicating the work done on the TESOL curriculum through a new initiative to develop a maths curriculum (to be based on the Singapore curriculum) and support for the training of existing teachers once the curriculum is completed
  • improving the lives of women in the Palau through enhanced economic opportunities and activities aimed at eliminating violence against women
  • building the skills of the workforce in key sectors by providing scholarships.


Recent results

  • Australian support to the Ministry of Health in 2011 helped to develop a workforce plan, identifying areas of staffing weaknesses and training needs.

Commitments 2013–14

  • An Australian adviser will help to finalise and implement a human resource development plan for Palau’s health sector, resulting in an increased number of qualified staff.

More about health


Recent results

  • In 2010, Australia contributed to the building of a new Tourism and Hospitality School at the Palau Community College.
  • An Australian-funded adviser working with the Palau Community College updated the teaching course with a best-practice English as a Second Language curriculum. This has helped result in a higher standard of education in Palau as graduating teachers will be better qualified.

Commitments 2013–14

  • Australia will continue to build the capacity of the Palau Community College by providing technical assistance and Australian Volunteers.

More about education


Recent results

  • In 2011, an Australian grant assisted in clearing unexploded war ordnance in the island of Peleliu. Over 11,000 items of explosive remnants of war, weighing 35,000 kg, were removed from Palau. This has reduced the threat to the local community and allowed activities such as the jungle trail for tourists to be extended.

Commitments 2013–14

  • Australia has scaled up its commitment to the clearance of unexploded war ordnance, with $1.35 million provided to support clearance activities across the country. Included in this funding is support for the establishment of a regional unexploded ordnance training facility. This facility will also benefit neighbouring Pacific island countries.

More about humanitarian


Research overview

Research funded by the Palau country program targets the country’s specific development challenges. Under the Palau-Australia Partnership for Development , Australia supports the clearance of unexploded ordnance – including landmines, cluster munitions and other explosive remnants – around the islands of Palau.


Unexploded Ordnance Surveys (to be completed in 2013)

Cleared Ground Demining Palau team members at their storage facility in Peleliu, Palau.
Photo: Erin Magee / Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Since September 2009, the non-government organisation Cleared Ground Demining has been conducting a range of mine action activities such as risk awareness, survey, land and underwater clearance, and demolitions across Palau’s states.

In 2013, with the support of Australian Aid funding, the Cleared Ground Demining team will undertake extensive surveys throughout the western Palau states of Aimeliik, Ngatpang, Ngeremiengui, and Ngardmau. These states have been prioritised under these survey activities, as they were the scene of intensive bombardment throughout World War Two.

The team will conduct a door knock survey of every household in these states to ask for information on the known location of unexploded ordnance, whilst also reminding householders of the dangers they pose. The team will meet with community leaders such as Chiefs and women’s societies, and risk awareness pamphlets will be distributed to the community.

Underwater survey tasks will also be carried out in conservation areas, as well as heavily populated areas that are visited regularly for fishing or diving.

This support to Palau is part of Australia’s global efforts to reduce the threat and impact of landmines and other explosive remnants of war. Since 1997, Australia has provided more than $200 million in assistance, making it the sixth largest contributor to mine clearance efforts in the world.

Where is Palau?

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Country statistics

Population: 20,600

GDP growth (5 year average): 4.2%

Gross national income per capita, Atlas method (current USD$, 2010): USD$6,560

Human Development Index (2011): 49

Adult literacy rate (both sexes, % aged 15 and above): 91.9%

Adolescent fertility rate (women aged 15-19 years, births per 1,000 women): 13.8

Mortality rate of children under 5 (per 1,000): 15

Life expectancy at birth: 71.8

Expenditure on public health (% of GDP): 8.5

Sources: United Nations Development Programme, World Bank, Millennium Development Goals 2010 Report for Palau


heading foldWhy we give aid


Many of Palau’s people cannot access opportunities or services such as high quality education and healthcare. The physical isolation of Palau’s islands along with the small size of the population present particular development challenges: transport and communication costs are high, and the skills base of the country is low. As a regional neighbour, Australia is well-placed to work closely with the Government of Palau and civil society organisations to improve the country’s development.

Find out more about why we give aid to Palau


heading foldHow we give aid

Through the Australia-Palau Partnership for Development the two countries work together to support Palau’s development in areas where help is needed the most. The Partnership commits Palau to provide sound laws, policies and public services for its citizens, and to effectively and transparently manage development resources. It commits Australia to increase our aid, give good technical advice and to work closely with Palau’s Government to deliver this assistance.

Find out more about how we give aid to the Republic of Palau


heading foldProgress Against MDGs

  • Eradicate extreme hunger & poverty
  • Achieve universal primary education
  • Promote gender equality and empower women
  • Reduce child mortality
  • Improve maternal health
  • Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  • Ensure environmental sustainability

Last reviewed: 17 February, 2014