Australian Embassy

Media Release - 26/5/2015

Australia supports disability-inclusive development in Vietnam


The Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, yesterday launched Development for All 2015-2020: Strategy for strengthening disability-inclusive development in Australia’s aid program.

People with disability make up about 15 per cent of the global population and have poorer health outcomes, lower educational achievements, lower economic participation and higher rates of poverty than people without disability. Australian Ambassador to Vietnam, HE Mr Hugh Borrowman said “Disability-inclusive development is good development practice and contributes to poverty reduction, economic growth and better development outcomes for all.”

In Vietnam, Australia fosters disability-inclusive development through various assistance packages. It supports people with disabilities to improve the quality of their lives through existing and future aid projects by consulting people with disabilities, monitoring their participation, and engaging with disability-specific support services and other relevant organisations.

In the lead-up to the launch, the Australian Government Partnerships for Development (GPFD) funded a Training Workshop in Da Nang, which formed part of the “Developing Human Resources Capacity in Vietnam: Effective Service Delivery to Combat Gender Based Violence and Trafficking”.

Guest Trainer Nguyen Thi Van (Van Theresa), Director of The Will To Live, is an Australia Awards Fellowship Alumni (2014). Van stressed that “Violence against women and girls with disabilities in Vietnam is a significant but largely invisible issue that is related to both gender and disability-related discrimination and exclusion. Together, these two elements combine to result in a much higher risk of violence against women and girls with disabilities.”

Van’s presentation was particularly powerful as it placed the issue of gender-based violence within a personal context of life lived with disability in Vietnam, and challenged the listener’s preconceived ideas and opened up new possibilities for working with women and girls with disabilities.

Australia also supports disability inclusiveness through long and short term awards under the prestigious Australia Awards scholarships program. Australia prioritises and supports access to scholarships through an Equity of Access Fund, which supports people with disability applying for scholarships, during studies in Australia, and to be active and engaged alumni. Fifteen Vietnamese awardees with disabilities received assistance from the Australian Government last year to assist them with their studies and life in Australia.

For further information, please contact: Ms Dinh Thi Viet Anh, Senior Public Affairs Officer, Australian Embassy: (tel: 04 3774 0232; email: [email protected]).