Devex reports that Scott Morrison, the prime minister of Australia, has announced his government's plans to strengthen engagement with the Pacific region, including through greater military support, sports for development programs, and the establishment of a A$2 billion (US$1.5 billion) Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific. The infrastructure facility will comprise A$0.5 billion (US$0.4 billion) of grants and A$1.5 billion (US$0.7 billion) in loans. All grant funds will come from within the current development budget; the government has confirmed it will not increase development assistance while in power.
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Asian Development Bank, World Bank, and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade have all indicated support for the facility, as it will contribute to financing the very high infrastructure needs of the region. Some organizations, including Oxfam Australia, have cited concerns that the investment will reduce funding available for humanitarian and emergency assistance.
News article - Devex