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heading foldHow we are helping

2013/14 Estimated Outcome

$9.5 million

2014/15 Budget Estimate

$10.4 million


Australia has a strong and longstanding bilateral relationship with Tuvalu and is the country’s largest aid donor. Tuvalu’s economic prospects are constrained by the country’s distance from markets, small size and vulnerability to external shocks. Australian aid to Tuvalu is focused on activities that promote stability and maximise Tuvalu’s economic resilience and prospects for growth.

Fetuvalu High School on Funafuti atoll, Tuvalu
Fetuvalu High School on Funafuti atoll, Tuvalu. Australia is helping the Tuvaluan Government strengthen its education system, and providing water tanks to ensure schools stay open during dry periods (credit: DFAT)

Australia will continue to work with the Government of Tuvalu to improve the country’s prospects for economic growth and improve its development outcomes. Australia will work with the Government of Tuvalu and other development partners to support effective governance, including management of public finances, state-owned enterprise reform, and ensuring value-for-money in Tuvalu’s public procurement. Australia will fund technical advisers to build Tuvalu’s capacity to carry out essential government functions. We will also provide performance-linked aid based on Tuvalu’s achievement of agreed economic and social service reforms.

A water tank for Nuitau Primary School in Tuvalu being delivered
A water tank for Nuitau Primary School in Tuvalu being delivered (credit: DFAT).

Australia will continue to support improvements in the quality of education and help the country build a skilled workforce, including by helping Tuvalu to improve the rigour and relevance of its curriculum, the governance of its primary schools, and teacher training. The ‘education for all’ programme aims to improve literacy and numeracy rates for Years 5-8 and increase the number of children who successfully complete primary school. We will offer up to 24 scholarships for Tuvaluans to study at Australian and regional universities.

Australia will also continue to support Tuvalu to build resilience to the impacts of climate change through improved water resource management and activities that promote food security. Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls is a priority across our aid investments in Tuvalu.

Two female doctors
Tuvalu's first female doctors (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.


Recent results

  • In 2011, Australia provided all primary and early childhood centres, including those on the outer islands, with approximately 31,300 essential school textbooks. All secondary schools received basic school supplies and teaching materials.
  • 41 Tuvaluans have graduated from the Australia-Pacific Technical College since 2010, all on Australian-funded scholarships, and 22 technical and vocational education instructors were trained to teach school leavers on the outer islands.
  • A total of 76 long-term and four short-term Australia Awards scholarships have been awarded to students from Tuvalu between 2007 and 2011.

Commitments 2013-14

  • Increase the number of primary school students who pass secondary school entrance examinations as a result of Australia’s four-year partnership with UNICEF (2012-2016). This partnership will result in an improvement in the quality of education for more than 3,000 school children on Tuvalu’s nine islands.
  • Award 21 Australia Awards Scholarships to foster a skilled and educated workforce in Tuvalu

Economic development

Recent results

  • In 2011, Australia provided $1 million to help Tuvalu adapt to climate change. The funding was provided to support Tuvalu’s National Adaptation Programme of Action, led by the United Nations Development Programme.

Commitments 2013-14

  • Australia is continuing to help Tuvalu adapt to climate change through our support to the Government of Tuvalu and the United Nations Development Programme under the National Adaptation Programme of Action. Our support will help increase freshwater supply and storage, support coastal protection, and establish 12 new food crop plantations on outer islands.
  • The Seasonal Worker Program [external link] will enable short-term workers from Tuvalu to work in Australia. Australia is supporting training for the Tuvalu Labour Department which helps prepare workers for seasonal jobs in Australia. In late 2013, Tuvalu’s first ten participants in the Seasonal Worker Program travelled to Australia for work. .


Recent results

  • As at June 2011, Australia had contributed approximately $28.2 million to the Tuvalu Trust Fund since it was established in 1987 to provide a reliable and predictable source of revenue to fund basic services for Tuvaluans.
  • In May 2012, Australia provided $4 million in incentive funding to Tuvalu as the Government had met budget performance benchmarks for prudent fiscal and economic management.

Commitments 2013-14

  • Australia is funding advisers in central economic and oversight institutions to improve the Government of Tuvalu's operations and staff training. Australia funds two advisers in the Tuvalu Trust Fund Advisory and Investment Committees as well as a Budget Management Adviser, an Adviser to the Attorney General’s Office, an Adviser to the Auditor General’s Office, a Procurement Adviser, and a Government Account Adviser to Treasury. Australia is also funding specialist consultants to assist the Government of Tuvalu to improve financial analysis capacity and improve planning and budgeting in key sectors.
  • Australia is assisting the Government of Tuvalu with its economic reform plans. The reforms are being led by the Government of Tuvalu with support from donors.


Recent results

  • Australia supported Tuvalu's 2011 drought emergency response with $1.4 million in funding. The response included working with New Zealand to deliver one million litres of potable water to meet immediate crisis needs, providing fuel to operate existing desalination units and enable a needs assessment mission to outer islands. Australia also provided three solar-powered desalination units—one jointly with the United States and the United Kingdom—607 water tanks for the main island of Funafuti and 150 water tanks to primary schools on outer islands.

Commitments 2013-14

  • Australia will continue to work with Tuvalu to build resilience and longer term water security. This includes creating a maintenance plan for Tuvalu’s desalination units and developing a drought management strategy.



heading foldWhy we give aid


Tuvalu is a small island nation located halfway between Australia and Hawaii. It faces severe development challenges arising from its distance from major markets, limited education and work opportunities, and modest natural resources. As a low-lying atoll nation, Tuvalu is also highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

Find out more about why we give aid to Tuvalu


heading foldHow we give aid

Australian support to Tuvalu is guided by the Tuvalu-Australia Partnership for Development, which was first signed in 2009. Through the Partnership, the two countries work together to support Tuvalu’s long-term economic prospects, improve education, and increase resilience to the impacts of climate change. Australia works closely with United Nations agencies, the development banks, and other bilateral donors, including New Zealand, to deliver its aid programs.

Find out more about how we give aid to Tuvalu

Read the Tuvalu Aid Program Performance Report 2013-14


heading foldProgress Against MDGs

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

Last reviewed: 28 October, 2014