Australia has a longstanding, cooperative relationship with Samoa, based on strong people-to-people links, shared regional concerns and a common interest in maintaining Samoa’s status as one of the most economically and politically stable countries in the Pacific. Australia is the largest aid donor and the largest source of remittances to Samoa, due in part to increasing numbers of Samoan migrants to Australia. Australia is also Samoa’s second biggest trading partner.
A women's committee on Manono Island, Samoa. Australia is empowering local women's committees in Samoa to help address poverty needs in their villages (credit: DFAT).
Australia’s development assistance programme focuses on supporting Samoa to reform its management of the economy, to maintain economic stability and drive private sector development, by linking aid payments to mutually agreed reform benchmarks. In support of effective governance, works will start on a new Chamber for Samoa’s Parliament. This major project announced by Australia’s former Governor General in 2012, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Samoa’s independence, is in support of Samoa’s democratic values and institutions. Another new infrastructure initiative, the Samoa Economic Infrastructure Program, will stimulate economic growth through investments to upgrade key roads and bridges, linking the port to the business district, and provide a new international submarine cable to boost internet connectivity. It will also fund other essential economic infrastructure to support private sector led growth. This programme will build on Australia’s current substantial support to reconstruct or rebuild infrastructure damaged by Cyclone Evan, which struck Samoa in December 2012.
A new training facility under construction in Samoa. The facility is part of the Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC), an Australian government funded programme offering exciting vocational training opportunities in the Pacific region (credit: DFAT).
Australia’s aid will also continue to support the development of Samoa’s human capital through health and education investments. In 2014-15, Australia will offer up to 43 new awards including targeted scholarships that will help meet critical workforce shortages in health and education and will provide high achieving Samoans with recognised tertiary and technical qualifications to improve their opportunities for local and overseas employment. A new health programme will focus on improving health outcomes for poor and vulnerable Samoans, in particular the strengthening of primary health care and preventative services, especially for non-communicable diseases. Working directly with the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development, Australia will also support the implementation of the Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development Initiative country plan for Samoa, focussing on increasing women’s economic empowerment and reducing gender-based violence.
Samoan and Australian medical staff working together (credit: DFAT).
Rozanna Meredith is a pharmacist at Samoa’s Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital, and former scholarship recipient (credit: DFAT).
Archived details of expenditure for this program for 2013–14 can be found here.
Archived details of expenditure for DFAT’s aid program, following the Government’s announcement on 18 January 2014 to revise the aid budget, can be found here.