Australia, US announce new funds for Indo-Pacific
Australia and the United States have announced new funds for the promotion of democracy, human rights and economic development in the Indo-Pacific region.
Australia will invest $10.2 million, while the US has announced to give $1 million to promote youth engagement in democratic processes and protection of human rights in Bangladesh and Nepal, according to two separate statements yesterday.
In addition, Australia has announced another $61.6 million for the region's countries, which includes Bangladesh, to be provided for regional cooperation, disaster resilience, the digital sector, energy, infrastructure and more.
The US government has also planned a $10 million project for the next five years in Bangladesh that will look to promote open governance and accountability, according to a diplomatic source.
The announcements come after a foreign minister-level meeting of Quad (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue) members – the US, Australia, Japan and India -- which concluded in Melbourne yesterday. The four countries pledged to deepen cooperation and ensure a coercion-free Indo-Pacific region.
Foreign ministers of Quad vowed to work on humanitarian relief, terrorism, cyber and maritime security, and global supply chain challenges in the region
The US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor in a statement said it will work to mobilise youths in policy making and participation at all levels of government, as well as promote transparency, accountability and civic participation.
"The Biden administration seeks to strongly engage Bangladeshi government, civil society and media to improve governance and democracy," a diplomatic source said.