Australian Embassy
Embassy address: 8 Dao Tan Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi - Telephone: +84 4 3774 0100 - Fax: +84 4 3774 0111

Media Release, 16 January 2006

Australian Ambassador visits Hau Loc district, Thanh Hoa province, the hardest hit by typhoon Damrey

Hanoi- The Australian Ambassador to Vietnam, Mr Bill Tweddell visited Hau Loc district, Thanh Hoa Provinces last Friday to view Australian recovery work following Typhoon Damrey. The Australian Government, through CARE International, provided A$136,000 to help approximately 20,000 people to recover from the typhoon’s devastation which hit the province in September 2005.

“The benefits of this project are considerable - to reduce vulnerability and improve livelihood recovery among the poor in flood affected communities in Hau Loc and Thach Thanh districts of Thanh Hoa province”, Ambassador Tweddell said. “The project helps more than 4,000 vulnerable farming households with immediate food relief, improved access to clean water and better sanitation and enhanced disaster preparedness and response capacity amongst local partners. Helping Vietnam mitigate natural disaster is a critical elelment of Australia and Vietnam’s common goal of poverty reduction.”

In Hung Loc commune, the Ambassador met with benericiaries of the food relief program, and visited seriously affected areas to view typhoon damage to dykes and rice fields, and observe public well drilling and well rehabilitation training in affected households. The Ambassador also visited Da Loc commune to learn of Australia’s assistance in training and technology transfer for water jar production.

This assistance complements Australian involvement with longer-term disaster mitigation measures in Vietnam, such as the Natural Disaster Mitigation Partnership and the Australian-funded Quang Ngai Disaster Mitigation Project.

The Australian Government, through AusAID, provides A$72 million (approximately VND 864 billion) annually in grant aid to Vietnam.