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heading foldHow we are helping

2013/14 Estimated Outcome

$38.3 million

2014/15 Budget Estimate

$37.6 million


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
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
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
Samoan and Australian medical staff working together (credit: DFAT).

Rozanna Meredith
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.


Results 2011–2012

  • In 2011, public health campaigns provided health screening, vaccinations and health education services to 23,302 people in 155 villages.
  • In 2011, more than 50 healthcare workers received professional training.
  • A number of health policies including the non-communicable disease policy and the HIV/AIDS policy were prepared or strengthened in 2011.
  • The first Demographic and Health Survey, published in June 2010, is proving to be an effective resource for health planning and monitoring.

Commitments 2012–2013

  • Eight new primary and tertiary healthcare facilities will be built and equipped with quality medical equipment and essential medicines.
  • Access to primary health services will be improved through health worker outreach, provision of essential equipment and staff training.
  • Planning processes and health workforce capacity will be improved to better prepare the health system for the increased burden expected from non-communicable diseases.
  • Work towards universal professional registration of health workers across all disciplines.
  • Health information systems will be improved for more informed decision-making and quality assurance.


Results 2011–2012

  • In 2011, six schools with a total of 94 classrooms were constructed.
  • A new curriculum for primary schools was piloted from 2011, with 1,500 teachers trained in its delivery.
  • School fees have been phased out for 37,000 primary students since 2009, helping Samoa to achieve near universal primary enrolment. Grants to schools in place of fees are improving the quality of education through the purchase of teaching and learning materials.
  • 501 students with disabilities have been supported to attend mainstream schooling since 2010. Support has included providing transport to and from school, training for teachers in sign language and other specialised skills, and tailored learning materials.
  • 456 Samoans have graduated from the Australian Pacific Technical College since its inception in 2008. Of these, 148 were women. Graduates are highly sought after in Samoa’s tourism and light industry sectors.
  • The National Teacher Development Framework was launched in 2011. The framework puts in place professional standards to improve classroom teaching. By addressing salary irregularities, professional development, and improving working conditions and career paths for teachers, the framework aims to improve teacher retention.

Commitments 2012–2013

  • Construction of four more secondary schools will be completed in 2012.
  • The new primary school curriculum will be trialled in 2012 and fully rolled out across the country in 2013.
  • The quality of primary education will be improved through more schools meeting minimum service standards and the provision of classroom materials.
  • Support for the implementation of an improved career and performance structure for teachers will increase retention rates and improve the quality of teaching.
  • The Australia-Pacific Technical College will continue to provide training for Samoan workers in high demand vocations such as hospitality and disability services.
  • More children with disabilities will be assisted to attend mainstream school and support services will be provided to improve their educational outcomes.

Economic development

Results 2011–2012

  • 251 kilometres of high voltage power lines have been laid since 2009, providing reliable electricity to remote communities across Samoa.
  • The provision of clean, renewable energy for Samoans for the next 30-50 years has been boosted with the refurbishment of a 1Mw hydropower generator.
  • In 2011, underground cabling for the national hospital was completed, which will reduce disruption to the hospital’s power supply in the event of a natural disaster.
  • In 2011, 57 non-government and community organisations received small grants. The grants are assisting local communities and vulnerable groups through building the skills of women as well as disability and mental health counselling services. Local school and community buildings are also being constructed.
  • A National Tourism Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for Samoa was developed in 2011. It will help build climate resilience in the tourism industry through conservation and proper use of tourism resources.
  • Groundwater conservation received a boost with the drilling of boreholes to determine the levels of fresh groundwater available and the impact of rising sea levels. This information will help local communities to manage their fresh water resources sustainably.

Commitments 2012–2013

  • Pre-paid “Cash Power” metres will be installed for 75 per cent of the Electric Power Corporation’s customers by 2013 to assist families monitor power use and better manage spending.
  • New diesel electric generators and a new substation will become operational, significantly increasing the reliability of electricity to thousands of households.
  • The advocacy skills of non-government and community organisations will be improved.
  • Up to 1,000 vulnerable households will be provided with water tanks to ensure that they have access to clean, safe water and to assist them in adapting to the predicated effects of climate change.
  • Up to 60 grants will be provided to community organisations to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable households
  • Assistance will be provided to Samoan farmers to better manage the effects of climate change and as a result improve their livelihoods.


Results 2011–2012

  • The 2011 census increased the quality of national statistics, which will support informed decision making and improve accountability and transparency.
  • Support to the Samoa Audit Office from 2008 to 2011 enabled its audits to be benchmarked against the full requirements of the International Standards on Auditing and International Financial Reporting Standards.
  • In 2011, the telecommunications sector was liberalised and the state-owned telecommunication organisation, SamoaTel, was privatised.
  • State-owned enterprises are becoming increasingly compliant with Samoa’s Public Bodies (Performance and Accountability) Act on the appointment of board members.
  • In 2011, 138,000 files of the Land and Titles Court were digitised to assist in record keeping and document preservation.
  • In 2011, a housing centre was constructed at the Olomanu Juvenile Rehabilitation Centre, ensuring minors are separated from other prisoners.
  • The Samoa Legal Information Institute was established. The institute’s website provides free access to Samoa’s laws, court judgements and other legal decisions, which will improve the transparency of the parliamentary and legal systems.

Commitments 2012–2013

  • Support ongoing reform of state-owned enterprises, and improvements in the Samoan Government procurement and audit systems.
  • Provide training and resources to members of the national legislative assembly to strengthen democratic systems.
  • Aim to lower Samoa’s cost of doing business by promoting regional economic integration and trade.
  • Improve access to justice services through the training of prosecutors, funding legislative reform, and improving records management.

Research overview

Research funded by our Samoa country program targets the country’s specific development challenges. Research is also carried out on a regional level. Some of the highlights are listed below.

Australia's Humanitarian Aid—Samoa and Tonga Tsunami (2011)

When Samoa and Tonga were hit by an 8.3 magnitude earthquake and tsunami on 29 September 2009, Australia was shocked by the devastation inflicted on our neighbours. It killed 144 people, including five Australians, and in its wake lives, homes, businesses, communities and pristine beaches were in ruins. This brochure outlines the details of Australia’s response to this humanitarian tragedy.

Samoa Avocado Oils: Processing into Export Products and Commercialization Opportunities (2011) (external website)

Despite growing in large quantities in Samoa when in-season, avocado is highly underutilised in the country. The fruit is only sold at local fruit markets and road-side stalls, consumed by a small number of people and some restaurant franchises. Avocado oil can only be found in international supermarkets. Currently, the majority of cooking oils are imported into the country.

There is no previous research on local avocado varieties, growth conditions and harvesting time in Samoa. This report (external website) looks at how avocado oil can be better produced and distributed in Samoa in order to contribute to the local economy, while delivering health benefits to the Samoan people.

Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation in the Pacific: The Challenge of Integration (2010) (external website)

Community-based disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation are crucial to aid effectiveness, reducing both the duplication of efforts by aid agencies and confusion at the community level.

This research (external website) uses case studies in Fiji and Samoa to explore how best to gain community involvement in initiatives that address climate change and disaster response. It looks at how to maximise efforts to increase community resilience to impacts of disasters and climate change.

Women in Business in Samoa (2008)

This report assesses the constraints and opportunities that exist for women in Samoa within the market, the economy, and the business environment, in line with the World Bank’s Doing Business indicators.

Samoa’s performance on gender equality is impressive by Pacific standards. However, while women hold leadership positions in the government and the private sector, Samoa’s village-chief system has produced two strata of women (privileged and urban versus under-privileged and rural). Businesswomen in the urban centre are well organised, well informed and well connected. In contrast, rural women are poorly organised and have little awareness about the opportunities before them in business, or the institutions that could support them through rural-enterprise development.

This report summarises the main findings of the study and makes recommendations for donors, and government and non-government organisations to consider.


heading foldWhy we give aid


Poverty and hardship are a fact of life for many Samoans. Almost 27 per cent of the population live below the basic needs poverty line and struggle to meet the weekly costs of living. The quality of education remains a concern and lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and cancer are on the rise. Australia and Samoa have a long-standing relationship and strong community links. As the largest economy in the region, Australia is well-positioned to provide assistance to Samoa’s people.

Find out more about why we give aid to Samoa


heading foldHow we give aid

Through the Australia-Samoa Partnership for Development, the two countries are working together to increase access to quality health and education services, build a stronger public sector, improve access to justice, and improve economic stability. Much of Australia’s aid is delivered directly through the Government of Samoa. Australia also works with partners such as New Zealand, the European Union, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to deliver aid programs.

Find out more about how we give aid to Samoa

Read the Samoa–Australia Partnership for Development document


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

Demographic and development statistics for Samoa


Last reviewed: 28 October, 2014