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Australia helps the poorest in Vietnam.



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Media Release

PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY

TO THE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

THE HON KATHY SULLIVAN MP

 

AA63

8 October 1999

AUSTRALIA HELPS THE POOREST IN VIETNAM

 

I am pleased to announce that the Australian Government will help the poorest people in V ietnam by funding ten new community projects through Australian non-government agencies.

 

The package of assistance, provided through the NGO-Vietnam Australia (NOVA) programme, is aimed at helping the most disadvantaged people in Vietnam, including women and ethnic minorities. Each of the funded agencies has extensive experience with local partners in Vietnam and in community development activities.

 

The projects funded under the package, worth a total of $4.2 million spread over three years, will offer practical help in areas like basic health care, clean water, HIV/AIDS education, and greater food security with environmentally sustainable farming practices.

 

One of the newly funded projects will extend the very successful first phase of a project that has combined biological control with community action to dramatically reduce levels of sickness and death from dengue fever in the project area. Dengue fever is a very serious illness spread by mosquitoes, affecting nearly a quarter of a million people in Vietnam last year. Many of those who suffer and die are young children.

 

Another innovative project will tackle the increasingly dangerous use of farm chemicals in Vietnam. The rapid rise in overuse and misuse of pesticides makes fruit and vegetable growing hazardous for farmers, for consumers and for the environment. The project will offer training in safer farming practices, as well as educating the wider community about the dangers of such chemicals.

 

Having had the chance to see some of the many NOVA projects first-hand during my visit to Vietnam in February last year, I am pleased that this successful partnership is continuing. NOVA projects maintain a strong Australian involvement at the grassroots level in Vietnam and, most importantly, bring substantial benefits to the poorest communities in the country.

 

Media contacts: Judi Nixon (Mrs Sullivan’s office) 07 5591 1011 / 0411 287 258

  Jacinta Cubis (AusAID) 02 6206 4967 I 0417 683 126

 

 

al  1999-10-11  09:58