Australia to provide additional support to Fiji

0
1597

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese confirmed that his meeting with Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka resulted in an additional $81million (US$54 million) in budget support this financial year to help the Fiji Government maintain essential services, protect the most vulnerable and contribute to private sector-led economic growth.

This latest tranche is an extension of Australia’s budget support for Fiji through the pandemic, comprising over $364 million (US$243 million) since 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic had unprecedented economic and social impacts in Fiji, given the importance of international tourism to the economy.

This budget support was a central part of the Australian Government’s assistance for Fiji through the pandemic, in addition to vaccines and health system support.

In addition to the grant budget support, Australia has committed $132 million (US$88 million) to Fiji in its financial year 2022-2023 in official development assistance.

It also includes $60 million (US$40 million) in bilateral investments, with the remainder flowing from Australia’s global and regional aid programmes.

Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was accorded a traditional ceremony of welcome at the Blackrock Camp in Nadi, this afternoon.

The ceremony was attended by the Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sitiveni Rabuka, government ministers and Heads of diplomatic missions in Fiji.

Prime Minister Albanese expressed his sincere appreciation to Prime Minister Rabuka and the people of Fiji for the warm and kind hospitality accorded to him.

He said it’s a wonderful opportunity to be in Fiji and to meet with Prime Minister Rabuka.

This will be the first meeting between the two Prime Ministers.

Prime Minister Albanese’s visit will further strengthen Australia and Fiji’s Vuvale Partnership with a focus on economic recovery, climate resilience and regional security.

Earlier, upon his arrival in Nadi, Prime Minister Albanese was accorded a guard of honour by members of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF).

SOURCE: FBC NEWS/ FIJI GOVT/PACNEWS