Australia Hands out US$48,000 in Aid Program

The Australian Government has funded VND770 million (around US$48,000) for six small-scale social development projects in the provinces of Ca Mau, Dak Lak, Phu Yen, Binh Thuan, Ben Tre and Binh Duong.

Mr. Mal Skelly (L) presents a token check to a project manager on Friday in Ho Chi Minh City (Photo: Tuong Thuy)

Mr. Mal Skelly, Australian Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City, presented the checks to the managers of the approved projects on Friday at the Australian Consulate General.

“For the 2006-07 financial year, we received 60 applications from 19 provinces. We have approved six projects and are still considering three more,” he said.

The approved projects focus on education, health care and infrastructure. Three sums of VND128 million each will be used to build 40 public restrooms in the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre, 10 houses for poor people in the southern province of Binh Duong, and two classrooms in the central province of Binh Thuan.

The Australian Consulate General in early November 2006 also provided a relief funding of US$5,000 for housing for victims of Xangsane typhoon in Da Nang City.

The Australian Consulate General funded these projects through its Direct Aid Program. It is a small, flexible grant program for development activities with prioritized areas including education, infrastructure, health and environment.
“We are confident that the local partners will do their utmost to effectively implement the approved projects, helping alleviate humanitarian hardship in their localities. I hope we will receive more applications next year,” said Mr. Skelly.

Every year, the Australian Consulate General provides funding for about 10 projects with an average sum for each project between US$7,000 and US$8,000.

Reported by Tuong Thuy

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