Samoa Minister of Finance, Lautimuia Uelese Vaai and Australia’s High Commissioner to Samoa, William Robinson shake hands at the Exchange of Letters for the funding arrangement

The Australian Government has committed an additional AUD$20 million (WST$36.7 million) in direct budget support towards Samoa’s Treasury.

This additional budget support will reinforce the Government of Samoa’s fiscal strength as it prepares for hosting a successful Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) later this year.

The Exchange of Letters for this funding arrangement was co-signed by Samoa’s Minister of Finance, Lautimuia Uelese Vaai, and Australia’s High Commissioner to Samoa, William Robinson.

This AUD$20 million (WST$36.7 million) budget support is in addition to the AUD$50 million (WST$91 million) over eight years that was signed last year by former High Commissioner, Emily Luck and Minister Lautimuia.

“We warmly thank the people and Government of Australia for their continued support and commitment to working in partnership for the prosperity of Samoa’s communities. This support will also ensure a successful CHOGM, where we look forward to showcasing the best of fa’a-Samoa and our Pacific way on the international stage,” said Lautimuia.

“This support reflects Australia’s approach to all its partnerships, with a deep commitment to locally led solutions. Samoa knows the challenges it’s facing best, and this support direct into Samoa’s Treasury enhances the nation’s ability to respond to those challenges,” said High Commissioner Robinson.

Australia delivers its budget support in partnership with development partners that are committed to Samoa’s long-term sustainable development – New Zealand, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and the European Union – through the Joint Policy Action Matrix (JPAM).

The JPAM mechanism, with dialogue across Government, provides rigour and assurance that Australia’s budget support contributes to Samoa’s pursuit of global best practice policies and reform actions that are fit for purpose for Samoa’s national priorities.

Meanwhile, more than 200 law officers from across the region have offered to assist Samoa for the Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting (CHOGM)in October closing the gap on the shortage of local police officers.