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PH gets P5.53-B Australian dev’t aid

The Australian government has set aside A$123 million (about P5.53 billion) in development aid for the Philippines’ antipoverty measures in the next 12 months.

The assistance was announced in a June 16 statement in which Canberra reaffirmed its “long-term engagement to reduce poverty in the Philippines.”

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The statement said the amount was intended to support basic education, enhance local government capacity to deliver basic services, strengthen climate change adaptation and disaster risk management and improve prospects for peace and security.

It noted that “accountable, transparent and effective governance was essential to reducing poverty in the Philippines.”

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The statement cited recent achievements of Australia’s development programs in the Philippines, including “improved access to quality schooling for approximately 2 million Filipino children through Australian-funded basic education programs and a 92.3-percent decline in deaths from malaria across 26 provinces as a result of the Canberra-supported World Health Organization program.”

Last week, Philippine and Australian foreign affairs and trade officials met in Canberra for the third ministerial meeting between the two countries.

The Philippines was represented by Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario and Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo.

The two delegations “committed to a deepening partnership between Australia and the Philippines, which would enhance our already strong cooperation on bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest,” the statement said.

They welcomed the “substantial progress in implementing the commitments arising from the second Philippines-Australia ministerial meeting in Manila in 2008.”

Noting that 2011 marks the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two nations, the two delegations “underlined that our enduring friendship, nurtured by strong people-to-people links, has grown into a mature and wide-ranging partnership.”

During the past 12 months, Canberra’s development assistance to Manila had reached $118 million (about P5.3 billion).

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TAGS: anti-poverty measures, Australian government, Canberra, development aid, Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo
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