Australia and Europe are looking at opportunities to team up on foreign aid projects in the Pacific region and harness technology to help the poorest.
An Irish start-up which pioneered the use of blockchain technology to deliver food to Syrian refugees in Lebanon is exploring opportunities to team up with Australia's foreign aid program.
AID: Tech uses blockchain as a digital ledger to securely and transparently record transactions and prevent fraud.
The organisation partnered with Ireland's Red Cross in 2015 on a pilot program in Lebanon to provide electronic voucher cards with QR codes to Syrian refugee women to be redeemed for goods at camp shops.
The Red Cross had complete traceability and could watch the transactions in real time from Dublin, chief executive Joseph Thompson said.
"We're marrying identity with money for people who don't have access to financial products, documentation or bank accounts," he told AAP during a visit to Canberra.
"The shopkeeper has a cheap mobile phone, so when he scans the QR code it brings up a picture of the refugee."
Mr Thompson co-founded the business after a disappointing experience fundraising for a charity in 2009. The money didn't end up going to where it was intended - children needing reconstructive surgery.
He spoke at a European Union-Australia Leadership Forum workshop on digital technology and development in Canberra this week and also had preliminary talks with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's innovation hub.
The EU's International Cooperation and Development director general Stefano Manservisi has also been in Canberra looking at ways to boost aid cooperation with Australia in the poverty stricken and natural disaster-prone Pacific region.
He also sees huge scope for technology to be a game-changer to help small islands overcome their isolation and be connected to basic services such as health and education.
While Australia has turned its back on providing aid to Africa, because it's far away, Mr Manservisi insisted the South Pacific was important to Europe not just for historical reasons. He noted there are 500,000 EU citizens living there.
"We will need to find new ways to work together and to deepen our cooperation," Mr Manservisi told AAP.
The EU allocated 800 million euros ($A1.1 billion) in aid to Pacific island countries between 2014-2020
It has also been working closely with Pacific region on action to fight global warming - Fiji will chair this year's international climate talks to be hosted in Germany.
Mr Manservisi will also be touring New Zealand, Fiji, Vanuatu and French territory New Caledonia.