MEDIA RELEASE: Development Cooperation
DATE: 8 January 2009
Australia commits to Road Safety and Injury Prevention in Viet Nam
Australia will contribute more than VND 1.7 billion (approximately AUD150,000) in 2009 to a campaign to improve road safety and awareness, especially for children, in Viet Nam.
The fund will be provided to the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation’s (AIPF) public awareness campaign to raise the importance of children wearing helmets when on motorbikes.
Australian Ambassador to Viet Nam, Allaster Cox, announced the support today when he joined an Australian Parliamentary Delegation visiting the AIPF’s Protec Helmet Factory in Soc Son, Ha Noi.
“Australia welcomes the decision by the National Traffic Safety Committee and the Vietnam Helmet Wearing Coalition to commence a new Child Helmet Wearing Public Awareness Campaign in January 2009,” Ambassador Cox said.
“Our support for this activity is closely aligned with the Australian Government’s disability-inclusive aid strategy, ‘Development for All’, launched in November last year,” he said.
“Protecting children is protecting the nation’s future. We hope the Government of Vietnam will consider a revision of the current regulations so that child helmet use will also be compulsory in Vietnam.”
In the financial year 2006-07, AusAID contributed more than VND 2 billion (AUD176,000) to a National Helmet Wearing Campaign implemented by AIPF and the Vietnam National Traffic Safety Committee. The AIPF funds the production of low-cost, high-quality motorcycle helmets and its work is closely linked to Vietnam’s mandatory helmet law which became effective in 2007. As a result of the new law, adult helmet wearing has increased from 3 per cent to 95 per cent and more than 1,000 lives were saved in one year.
In Southeast Asia, AusAID is a partner of the World Bank’s Global Road Safety Facility which is helping improve road safety and awareness. Australia’s regional contribution of AUD500,000 is also funding a pilot road assessment program in Vietnam to identify high-risk roads and affordable engineering projects. This project aims to improve safety and train officials in road safety assessment and public awareness.
The Australian Parliamentary Delegation, led by the Honourable Harry Jenkins, Member of Parliament and Speaker of the House of Representatives, is visiting Viet Nam from 5 to 11 January 2009 at the invitation of Viet Nam National Assembly.