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INCREASING the participation of Pacific women in Australia’s Seasonal Worker Programme is one of the recommendations in a new report by the World Bank.

The report, launched in Canberra, outlined a series of 11 policy recommendations which would lead to greater benefits across the region from Australia’s Seasonal Worker Programme.

The World Bank’s Jesse Doyle said this included helping Pacific workers utilise cheaper ways of sending money home, increased participation for women and improved opportunities for countries with lower participation.

“So Tonga and Vanuatu are the two largest sending countries in the program,” he said.

“So looking at ways that we can spread the gains across countries like Papua New Guinea and Nauru that have lower rates of participation.”

“There is about 14 per cent women in the program and looking at ways that we can increase that closer to 50 per cent will be critical moving forward.

“Then there are other measures like lowering the cost of sending money back to the Pacific.”

The report, titled Maximizing the Development Impacts from Temporary Migration: Recommendations for Australia’s Seasonal Worker Programme was produced by the World Bank with the support of the Australian government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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