Australia and the Maldives share a productive relationship, with links in trade and tourism, education, development cooperation and through the Commonwealth.
Despite political challenges over recent years, the Maldives has maintained good economic growth due to high tourist numbers. Diversifying the economy beyond tourism and fishing, reforming public finance and increasing employment opportunities remain major economic challenges for the Maldives Government. The Maldives graduated to middle-income country status in 2011 and has achieved five of the eight MDGs. However, significant social challenges exist with limited job opportunities and a fragile political environment.
Australia’s aid to the Maldives will target human development through the education sector. In 2014-15, we will:
- provide 33 Australia Awards Scholarships for study at Australian universities, focused on economics, education and environmental science
- help improve the quality of education at primary and secondary levels through the Maldives Education Sector Volunteers Program in cooperation with the Maldives Ministry of Education.
Australia will also support effective governance through support to the UNDP-led Integrated Governance Program. The programme aims to strengthen the transparency and accountability of public institutions, promote equitable access to justice and respect for human rights, and strengthen the voice of civil society organisations.
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.