Viet Nam

Australia to fight floods in Vietnam

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News and Press Release
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PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
THE HON CHRIS GALLUS MP
AA 04 042

Australians will help combat the impact of natural disasters in Vietnam and improve access to clean water, the Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Mrs Chris Gallus, announced today.

'Australian NGOs will provide infrastructure and training to benefit more than 700,000 people in the Mekong Delta and on the Central Coast of Vietnam,' Mrs Gallus said.

'The five year $23 million initiative will work with local communities to upgrade disaster management systems and to improve water and sanitation hygiene.

'More than 40,000 homes were affected by floods last November in a country that suffers every year from extensive damage to homes and livestock.

'Training will help local people in areas prone to flooding and typhoons prepare for floods and reduce losses.

'Although economic growth has been strong in recent years, Vietnam remains one of the poorest countries in the Asia-Pacific and many people still do not have access to clean water,' Mrs Gallus said.

'Poor water storage increases the risk to diarrhoeal diseases and vector-borne ailments such as dengue fever.

'Australians will construct water systems in villages and introduce education campaigns on better sanitation and hygiene.

'The Australian Foundation for the Peoples of Asia and the Pacific, CARE Australia, OXFAM/Community Aid Abroad, Plan Australia and World Vision Australia will receive the funding from AusAID to improve sanitation and natural disaster management in the Mekong Delta and Central Coast regions.

'Australia will also contribute more than $73 million in development assistance to Vietnam in 2004-05 to strengthen governance, support private sector development and improve market access for the rural poor,' Mrs Gallus said.

Media inquiries:

Shane Fairlie (Mrs Gallus's office) 02 6277 4840 or 0408 680 442
Dominic Morice (AusAID) 02 6206 4220 or 0417 683 126