ACTING Australian High Commissioner Glen Miles has dismissed fears that the assimilation of AusAID into the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) will affect aid to Fiji and the region.
As of yesterday, AusAID no longer existed as an individual organisation with DFAT absorbing its functions and taking over the 39-year-old aid arm of the Australian Government.
The decision was made by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot in an effort to streamline and become more efficient in their operations.
He also said there would not be any local job cuts.
"I'll be honest and say that there's probably not going be a big impact and it's probably not going to be too noticeable on the ground apart from the fact that we won't be referring to it as AusAID anymore.
"On the grounds here that's not going to make too much difference. All AusAID staff become members of DFAT and will continue to deliver the programs."
He said Australia remained committed to Fiji and the Pacific region and the assimilation of AusAID would not change this.
"Now Fiji and the Pacific region in general are very important developmental partners for us and that is not going to change.
"We are going to remain committed to the region and the program and there will be changes to it.
"No doubt as time goes on but the program will remain fairly strong in Fiji and in the Pacific, we are not expecting any significant changes at this stage."