Bob Carr: Thank you, thank you very much. Australia is proud to be Indonesia's largest grant donor and to be part of a strong development partnership.
This financial year alone we're committing more than $570 million to the partnership.
We're expanding our aid to Indonesia because we are able to see what good is being done on the ground. In Jogjakarta I visited a community health centre and was impressed by the work we're doing together to tackle HIV. I also visited a village near Mt Merapi that has rebuilt a bridge and facilitated micro-finance loans for small business through Indonesia's National Program of Community Empowerment. I understand President Yudhoyono is a keen advocate for this program.
I want to refer to two initiatives that I think are going to figure very significantly in the story of our cooperation with Indonesia. One is as referred to by the Minister, a new initiative to help Indonesia build on its success reducing poverty. And that means funding research-high-quality, evidence-based research and reviews-to show the Indonesian Government what programs to invest in. Australia will provide grants and technical assistance to 17 research institutions so they can provide the Government of Indonesia with independent advice.
And the second program is about empowering women. It's going to be a new program that will help poor Indonesian women get better jobs access and access to social assistance. Indonesia has made significant progress in gender equality in 40 years. But this program aims to increase women's access to jobs and remove workplace discrimination to give women access to childcare, to provide access to family planning, and support domestic violence victims' centres. It's a $120 million program. It will be delivered over the next eight years and the first $60 million phase will run for four years.
It's a pleasure to work with you Minister and thank you for the cooperative relationship we have.
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