Released on 25 July 2006
Australian Assistance Helps Local Communities in Eight Provinces to Ensure their Future
HANOI - In the Financial Year 2005 – 2006, the Australian Embassy in Hanoi successfully completed 11 projects that were partially -funded under the Embassy’s Direct Aid Program (DAP). The projects were located in provinces across Northern and Central Vietnam including, Hanoi, Hai Phong, Phu Tho, Hai Duong, Hung Yen, Lao Cai, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue. The DAP aims to reduce poverty and improve the living-standards and conditions of poor people and minorities in Vietnam, through the funding of small-scale projects at community level.
Many of the projects concentrate on the improvement of essential infrastructure, including upgrading primary schools, commune clinics, and vocational training centres. The assistance has improved access to education and medical treatment for school children, the poor, and disadvantaged women in rural and remote areas, by contributing to the construction of buildings and provision of essential equipment. Through cooperation with both local and international NGOs, the DAP program also provided practical assistance to people living in dire circumstances, such as homeless and orphaned children in Hanoi.
Speaking about the Direct Aid Program, Australia’s Ambassador to Vietnam, Bill Tweddell, has said: “The DAP was designed to focus on small-scale projects, which might otherwise be overlooked by more expansive programs. My colleagues at the Embassy and I have had the opportunity to visit quite a number of DAP projects over the last year and we were very pleased to see the practical benefit that our modest funds (approximately 66,000 USD) have been able to bring to local communities. We also appreciated the cooperation of local and provincial governments, whose commitment is crucial to achieving the best results from the investments.”
The DAP is designed to assist locally initiated projects which demonstrate a direct humanitarian benefit and have a development focus. Funds are dispersed throughout the year and around 10 projects are sponsored annually by the Australian Embassy in Hanoi. Similar projects are financed in southern Vietnam through a DAP fund administered by the Australian Consul-General in Ho Chi Minh City.
The Australian Embassy encourages community initiated projects to seek small-scale assistance through the Embassy’s Direct Aid Program. For further information please visit the Australian Embassy’s website: www.vietnam.embassy.gov.au/hnoi/cooperation.html