By The Numbers: Aid in the Pacific

The data driving Asia

$960 million

The amount allocated in Australia’s 2014-15 budget for aid to Pacific Island countries in U.S. dollars. This represents around 20 percent of Australia’s overall aid budget and makes it the single largest donor in the region, accounting for half of all foreign assistance. Dramatic cuts to Australia’s aid budget have stunted Australian aid in the Pacific, but have not affected its donor profile in the Pacific as much as they have in other regions.

Pallets of AusAID emergency aid supplies. Source: DFAT's flickr photostream, used under a creative commons license.

Pallets of AusAID emergency aid supplies. Source: DFAT’s flickr photostream, used under a creative commons license.

 

$2 billion

The amount China has offered to Pacific Island countries in the form of concessional loans at the second China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development and Cooperation Forum held in China last November. This includes $1 billion specifically for infrastructure projects.

64 percent

The amount of Tonga’s external debt held by China. Tonga is one of the Pacific Island countries to accept loans from China for infrastructure projects. Tonga’s national debt reached $169 million in 2013, which is 39 percent of its gross domestic product. China’s offer of additional loans has been met with an increasing lack of willingness by small Pacific Island countries to take on more debt.

$213 million

The amount allocated in New Zealand’s 2014-15 budget for aid to Pacific countries and institutions in U.S. dollars. Over half of New Zealand’s total aid goes to the Pacific region.

$168 million

The amount of U.S. aid spent in the Pacific in 2012. This made the United States the third biggest donor in 2012 behind Australia and New Zealand, and ahead of France.Chinese aid to the region between 2006 and 2011 is estimated at $850 million, or roughly $141 million a year.

31 percent

The percent of aid to Pacific Island countries that goes to Papua New Guinea. The next biggest aid recipient is the Solomon Islands with 14 percent. Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands are key priorities for Australia.

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2 comments for “By The Numbers: Aid in the Pacific

  1. Roddy Drummond
    December 16, 2014 at 20:01

    Why no mention of EU aid in this useful set of comparisons? OK, it is not one country, but the EU as a whole is the second biggest donor in the Pacific.

    • cogitASIA Staff
      December 19, 2014 at 11:48

      Mr. Dummond,

      The decision to compare the aid programs of a handful of individual countries was for the sake of consistency and brevity. However you are quite right, combining the contributions of EU institutions and member countries would make it the second largest donor.

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