San Francisco and Canberra, May 28, 2012 — As Australia strives to close development gaps in places most affected by poverty, conflict, and instability, the Asia-Pacific region remains its highest priority area of focus. Today, the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and The Asia Foundation announced an expansion of their strategic Partnership Agreement to address critical development challenges in the region. This agreement – signed today at AusAID headquarters in Canberra by Peter Baxter, Director General of AusAID and David D. Arnold, President of The Asia Foundation – is designed to complement existing agreements at the country level and spearhead additional strategic collaboration between the two organizations. The Partnership Agreement totals AUD 19.5 million over three years.
“Seventy percent of Australian aid is directed to the Asia-Pacific region. The expansion of Australia’s strategic relationship with The Asia Foundation, a leading nongovernmental international development organization, will help to increase the effectiveness and impact of both organisations through project collaboration, joint research, information sharing, and strategic collaboration,” Mr Baxter said.
The relationship further unites AusAID’s internationally recognized role in the Asia-Pacific in delivering effective development assistance and The Asia Foundation’s nearly 60 years of on-the-ground experience through its network of 17 country offices.
“A cornerstone of the expanded Australia and Asia Foundation partnership is to pioneer more effective delivery of aid,” said David D. Arnold, president of The Asia Foundation. “This strategic collaboration has the potential to transform the way we work together to address the most challenging questions facing the international community today. Our hope is that this collaboration will generate innovative, high-impact development at the country and regional level in Asia-Pacific—and will contribute to global efforts to improve not only aid effectiveness, but improve the quality of life for millions of people.”
This strategic partnership will build on previous successes to address critical development challenges. The agreement also reflects the two organizations’ shared interest in priority areas of development, including 1) effective governance, law, and justice; 2) conflict, security, and state fragility; 3) women’s empowerment and gender equity; and 4) inclusive economic growth.
Engagement between AusAID and The Asia Foundation has increased significantly in recent years. Since 2004, the Foundation has received Australian Government funding to support projects in 11 different countries.
View a slideshow for highlights from The Asia Foundation’s collaboration with AusAID.