San Francisco and Canberra, April 12, 2010 — As the international community searches for new ways to deliver aid and assistance in places affected by conflict and state fragility, the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and The Asia Foundation have formed a strategic partnership to enhance current approaches and explore new methods for supporting development, building peace and prosperity, and improving aid effectiveness. The agreement was signed at the Australian Embassy in Washington, D.C. on March 26, 2010 by Peter Baxter, Acting Director General of AusAID, and Douglas Bereuter, president and CEO of The Asia Foundation.
“This partnership is formed to bring together our collective experience in order to better address some of the most challenging questions facing the international community today,” said Douglas Bereuter, president and CEO of The Asia Foundation. “How can we think differently, and act differently, to improve conditions for those in turbulent, fragile societies, where people live in constant threat and development cannot take hold? The combined experience of our two organizations includes nearly every conflict-affected and fragile country in the Asia-Pacific region. I believe that this partnership has the potential to transform the way we work together across the region—and will contribute to global efforts to improve aid effectiveness.”
The goal of the partnership is to deepen and expand the strategies of AusAID, The Asia Foundation, and the international community to deliver aid and security in regions where the pace of development has fallen dramatically, especially where conditions have deteriorated. The partnership will include regular dialogue, collaboration, and joint program activities in Asia through June 2013. This new international effort builds on AusAID’s expertise in post-conflict reconstruction and The Asia Foundation’s recognized strengths in working on protracted sub-national conflicts, and building extensive networks in conflict-affected nations and regions.
Engagement between AusAID and The Asia Foundation has increased significantly in recent years, and the partnership agreement covering the next 39 months is designed to complement existing agreements at the country level by promoting greater sharing of knowledge and strategic concepts between the two organizations.
AusAID is the Australian Government agency responsible for managing Australia’s overseas aid program. The objective of the aid program is to assist developing countries reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development, in line with Australia’s national interest. In 2009–10 Australia will provide $3.8 billion worth of official development assistance. Australia’s aid program focuses on the Asia Pacific region. The international community recognises Australia’s leading role in the region, particularly in PNG and the Pacific. The geographic focus of Australia’s aid program also makes sense given that two thirds of the world’s poor, some 800 million people, live in the Asia Pacific, yet receive less than one third of total aid flows. Australia’s broadened aid program provides assistance to Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean and South America, primarily through scholarships and by working through international and non-government organisations.
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