Australia awards $116,000 in grants for development programs in Vietnam

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     Consul General John McAnulty (9th from left) and representatives of the agencies receiving Australian government aid. Photo courtesy of the Australian Consulate-General.

The Australian Consulate-General has awarded grants of around A$130,000 (US$116,000) to 11 projects in sectors ranging from community healthcare to small-scale infrastructure.

 The projects are in central and south Vietnam.

At the signing ceremony in Ho Chi Minh City, Consul General John McAnulty said, "I understand that sometimes, in the hands of a group of capable and passionate individuals like yourselves, a small amount of funding is all that is needed to ease humanitarian hardship and bring about dramatic positive change. But large-scale grants programs are out of reach for most of you. This is what makes the Australian government's Direct Aid Program (DAP) so unique, and is why I am proud to be awarding these funds this morning."

The Australian government's DAP is a small-scale grants program which aims to assist individuals, community groups, NGOs, and other organizations engaged in development activities in Vietnam on a not-for-profit basis which do not have access to large-scale aid or grants programs.

DAP funding is in addition to the larger-scale aid projects funded by the Australian government, whose non-refundable aid to Vietnam in 2013-2014 is expected to total about A$159.1 million (US$141 million). This includes funding for Australia's biggest aid project yet in Vietnam, the Cao Lanh bridge project. Work on the two-kilometer bridge spanning the Tien River in the Mekong Delta started last October.

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