Albay, Philippines, February 19, 2013 — A high level official of the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) Geoff King visited poor communities in Daraga, Albay.
The AusAID visit coincided with the turnover ceremony of The Asia Foundation’s Books for Asia program, which distributed books and supplementary reading materials for free to forty-eight public elementary schools in Daraga, Albay.
AusAID’s Mr. King met with out-of-school youth who have benefited from computer literacy and technical skills training through the 18-month project carried out in partnership with the Bicol Center for Community Development, Inc. This project was funded through the Philippine Australia Community Assistance Program (PACAP), one of Australia’s official development assistance mechanism managed by AusAID. It provides small grants assistance to poor communities and groups throughout the country. Since its inception in 1986, PACAP has awarded more than 2,200 grants to 1,320 civil society organizations benefiting more than 1,460,000 people in poor communities throughout the Philippines. PACAP provided support to The Asia Foundation to distribute the books and materials in Daraga.
“The Australians believe that all Filipinos must have access to quality education. Our aid program in the Philippines works in partnership with government and civil society groups such as the Bicol Center for Community Development, Inc (BCCDI). We are pleased to note that our assistance has improved the lives of 250 out-of-school youth who suffered from typhoon Reming. They have been given hope and a chance to go back to school and secure employment.”
Australia is a long-standing development partner of the Philippines and one of the country’s largest bilateral grant aid donors. In 2012-13, Australia will provide about A$113.3 million (about Php4.7 billion) in development assistance to the Philippines.