Foreign Assistance: Lessons Learned From Donors' Experiences in the Pacific Region Page: 5 of 60
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donors' development assistance strategies2 and the factors or experiences
that influence their choice of strategies, and (3) report lessons from the
other donors' assistance strategies that could be useful for U.S.
For our review, we obtained and analyzed development assistance
statistics for Pacific Island nations from 1987 to 1999. We collected and
analyzed information on objectives, strategies, and development
experience from donor agencies in Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the
United Kingdom, and the United States and from the Asian Development
Bank, the European Union, the United Nations Development Program, and
the World Bank. (Further details about our objectives, scope, and
methodology can be found in app. I.)
Results in Brief
Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States
have been the major providers of bilateral development assistance to the
Pacific Island nations3 since 1987.4 The Asian Development Bank and the
European Union have been the major multilateral donors. Of the $11.9
billion5 in total assistance provided to the region from 1987 to 1999, the
five bilateral donors have given 81 percent of the amount (of which the
United States' share was 26 percent); the two multilateral donors have
given 12 percent of the amount; and other donors have provided the
remaining 7 percent. The donors' main development objectives, according
to their planning documents, have been to alleviate poverty and to set the
Pacific Island nations on the path to economic self-sufficiency. These
2We use the terms "development assistance strategy" and "assistance strategy" in this
report to define the type of assistance. Donors use a variety of terms to define the kind of
assistance they provide.
3These nations include the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati,
Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, the
Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
4We relied on information from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD) to identify the major donors. We recognize that other countries, such
as China and Taiwan, which are not members of the OECD, also provide significant
amounts of assistance. For example, according to The Sidney Morning Herald ("Pacific
Region Enters a New Era of Shifting Alliances," May 24, 2001), China recently gave about
$157 million to Papua New Guinea, which was nearly the same as Australia's annual
assistance of about $167 million. We were not able to obtain assistance data directly from
5Adjusted to 1998 U.S. dollars. Unless noted, development assistance amounts are adjusted
to 1998 dollars, which was the most recent inflation adjustment made by the OECD.
GAO-01-808 Pacific Development Assistance Strategies
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United States. General Accounting Office. Foreign Assistance: Lessons Learned From Donors' Experiences in the Pacific Region, report, August 17, 2001; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc293232/m1/5/: accessed January 16, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.