Anthony Albanese’s government has offered residents of the small island nation of Tuvalu the chance to live, work and study in Australia.
Tuvalu, a nation of 11,200 that includes nine low-lying South Pacific islands, could be the first country in the world to disappear due to rising sea levels.
In an announcement on the sidelines of the Pacific Islands Forum in the Cook Islands, Mr Albanese said Australia would enter into a treaty with Tuvalu.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese with the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Kausea Natano
Australia will offer up to 280 residents the opportunity to come to Australia each year to live, work and study.
Under the agreement, Australia will also provide assistance to the Pacific Islands in the event of natural disasters and pandemics threatening its national security.
“This makes Australia a valued partner for Tuvalu for the future,” Mr Albanese said.
Tuvalu Prime Minister Kausea Natano said the country’s residents would be allowed to work, study and live in Australia under the deal.
“Australia’s dedication to supporting the people of Tuvalu goes beyond words and has touched our hearts deeply,” Mr Natano said.