Australia aims to reduce poverty in Burma and help the country transition to a stable, more democratic and more prosperous member of the region and the international community. Australia’s early engagement with the Government of Myanmar positions us well to support the country’s reform process. Through the Myanmar–Australia Partnership for Reform, we will invest in the Government’s governance including public financial management systems and transparent allocation of resources. By encouraging financial sector development and regulatory reform we will help improve the investment climate, including in key sectors of interest for Australia. To support the Government of Myanmar in its chairmanship of ASEAN we are providing Australian advisors to the Government.
Australia will continue to align our development assistance programme with the Myanmar Government’s development priorities and work together on matters of mutual interest, including trade, investment and human rights. Australia will also help the Government prepare for parliamentary elections in 2015.
Australia will build resilience in Burma by supporting peace and reconciliation by working with local and international organisations to facilitate successful negotiations between the Government, military and ethnic armed groups. Australia will respond to the immediate humanitarian needs of conflict and disaster-affected people by providing food, shelter, sanitation and protection.
Students at the Karen Young Women Leadership School reading the Burmese news (credit: Angela Wylie/The Age, International Women's Development Agency).
Australia’s support in the health and education sectors will help to establish a healthy, educated and productive people capable of contributing to the nation’s growth. In 2014-15, Australia will:
- provide health care services to women and children including antenatal care to 23,000 pregnant women, skilled birth delivery assistance to 19,000 women and vaccinations to approximately 23,000 children
- lead efforts to improve the education system, by funding quality basic education for over 300,000 children studying at government, monastic and community schools, as well as schools in hard to reach ethnic areas
- help train more than 3,000 teachers and almost 8,000 parents and caregivers in providing better care for children
- offer up to 50 Australian Awards Scholarships for study in Australia and support the revitalisation of Rangoon University, Burma’s oldest tertiary institution. Through the programme, Australia’s tertiary institutions are renewing higher education linkages and exchanges between Australia and Burma.
A senior midwife attends to her malaria and primary health patients by motorbike (credit: 3DFund.org).
Australia will seek to engage the private sector in the agriculture sector in modernising farming practices, increasing access to markets and facilitating trade linkages. Australia will help generate livelihoods in regions that were previously affected by conflict. The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) will identify better production techniques and improve quality of produce. The Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund will support up to 25,000 rural households increase their incomes and improve quality and quantity of yields.
Ploughing fields, Shan, Burma (credit: DFAT).
Archived details of expenditure for this program for 2013–14 can be found here.
Archived details of expenditure for DFAT’s aid program, following the Government’s announcement on 18 January 2014 to revise the aid budget, can be found here.