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Regional East Asia

Overview of Australia’s aid program to Regional East Asia

2013/14 Estimated Outcome: $81.4 million

2014/15 Budget Estimate: $100.0 million

South East Asia is a region of vital national interest to Australia, reflecting its economic, strategic and political importance. Australia is a major donor to the region, and has been for decades. Through our long-standing commitment to the region’s development, we have developed productive relationships with governments and key NGOs and multilateral partners.

Despite impressive economic growth and poverty reduction1, development in South East Asia is uneven between and within countries. Over 200 million people in South East Asia live in poverty on less than US$2 a day2. There is inequality in income, education and access to services, and gaps in infrastructure and connections between countries3.

Australia has bilateral aid programs with Burma, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and Timor-Leste which respond to some of these challenges. The South East Asia regional aid program complements bilateral programs by targeting those challenges best address through regional cooperation and coordination. Our regional aid investments focus on:

  1. Promoting regional economic growth and integration
  2. Addressing trans-boundary challenges to health, human security and water resources
  3. Strengthening the capacity of regional organisations, such as the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN)
  4. Leveraging the expertise and networks of key development partners in the region.

Economic growth

Australia’s regional program promotes poverty reduction through economic growth in South East Asia. Through our regional aid interventions we are improving private sector opportunities, investing in infrastructure, driving international competitiveness and facilitating trade. We are also promoting regional economic integration through support for implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community and ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement.

Economic growth assistance in South East Asia

Human security

The South East Asia regional program addresses priority trans-boundary human security challenges including people trafficking, ending violence against women and preventing the exploitation of migrant workers.

Human security assistance in South East Asia

Health

Australia works to reduce the impact of emerging public and animal health threats which have the potential to affect regional and global health, economic growth and stability. Our work in health addresses the spread of communicable diseases and livestock diseases and responds to potential pandemic threats.

Health assistance in South East Asia

Water resource management

Water resources lie at the heart of development in much of South East Asia, with over 330 million people depending directly or indirectly on the on the major river systems of the Greater Mekong Subregion. Drawing directly on Australia’s own experience in water resource management, the regional program promotes well-informed, transparent, and inclusive governance of the region’s waterways.

Water resources assistance in South East Asia

Partnerships

Australia is partnering with key development actors in the region to identify innovative responses to development challenges and deliver effective on the ground assistance to those most in need.

Our partnerships in South East Asia

Our results

Economic growth

  • Commenced or completed over 50 activities promoting the liberalisation of goods, services and investment under the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) - Australia Development Cooperation Program Phase II.
  • Helped ASEAN developing countries implement the ASEAN Australia New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) through 53 activities (23 completed, 30 ongoing) in areas including rules of origin, investment and services, competition and intellectual property.
  • Progressed exchange of traffic rights (Cambodia-Thailand) and road transport agreements (China-Vietnam) and increased cross-border transport permit quotas (Cambodia-Vietnam, China-Laos) through the Greater Mekong Subregion Trade and Transport Facilitation Program.

Human security

  • The International Labour Organisation (ILO) TRIANGLE project delivered training and technical support to over 3,000 government representatives (one third female), supported 21 civil society organisations, and provided support to over 10,000 migrant workers (40 per cent female).
  • Established and supported migrant resource centres providing counselling on safe and legal migration and rights, legal assistance, training and networking in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Burma, Malaysia4.

Health

  • Trained over 3,000 health and veterinary workers, community and government officials to prevent, contain, and respond to disease outbreaks that have significant economic, livelihood, and public health impacts.
    • Those trained delivered effective communication and vaccination campaigns that directly involved and benefitted about 140,000 people at the community level in the Mekong region, which improved the surveillance and response to disease outbreaks during 2013–14.
  • Deployed a risk reduction communication package to poultry markets near the Chinese border in Burma, Laos and Vietnam, aimed at preventing the incursion of Avian Influenza A (H7N9).

Water resource management

  • Supported Cambodia to implement regulatory reforms on river basin management, water allocation and water quality, and helped Laos to improve its hydropower and mining teaching curriculum and adopt new standardised concession agreements for hydropower and mining5.
  • Supported the Mekong River Commission to effectively manage the formal consultation process for the proposed Don Sahong Hydropower Project in southern Laos, building on the lessons of the Xayaburi process since 20106.

Partnerships

  • Held forum for NGOs, universities and social enterprises that promoted an improved understanding of how NGOs can access ASEAN institutions, and identified potential risks and benefits for Mekong women resulting from realisation of the ASEAN Economic Community in 20157.
  • Supported an Australasian Aid and International Development Policy workshop with participation of development policy specialists from China, India, Korea and Thailand through our partnership with The Asia Foundation.

Related documents

Economic growth assistance in South East Asia

Overview

All countries that have experienced sustained growth have opened their economies to the opportunities presented by global trade and investment. Our regional investments in trade facilitation and financial and physical connectivity are supporting South East Asian countries engaging with the regional and global economy.

Australia is working with key regional organisations, such as the Association of South East Asian Nations and the East Asia Summit (EAS) to create a strong and prosperous South East Asia. We are promoting economic integration through the free flow of goods and services across borders. In partnership with the ASEAN Secretariat, we support the implementation of the ASEAN Australia New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) by assisting developing ASEAN countries to benefit from more open trade and economic integration. Australia is also supporting better transport links which will make a significant impact on poverty by creating better conditions for trade and economic development.

Related initiatives

ASEAN–Australia Development Cooperation Program Phase II

$62.8 million, 2011-2019

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)–Australia Development Cooperation Program (AADCP) Phase II is a seven year program helping ASEAN establish a regional Economic Community by 2015. The program supports improvements in investment, trade in services and consumer protection in the region.

Our assistance funds economic research and projects that promote regional economic integration. Australia is working with ASEAN to implement its Community Blueprints and the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity. Australia is also helping strengthen the institutional capacity of the ASEAN Secretariat by developing its human resources management, project management and monitoring and evaluation systems.

Related documents*
Name of document Year published Type
ASEAN Australia Development Cooperation Program Phase II—Memorandum of Understanding 2009 Funding agreement
ASEAN ADCP II Program Design Framework 2008 Program design
ASEAN Australia Development Cooperation Program Phase II—Quality at Entry Report 2007 Annual quality report
AADCP II Annual Review Report 2012 2013 Evaluation report
AADCP II Independent Progress Report 2012 Evaluation report
AADCP II Independent Progress Report—Management response 2012 Evaluation report
East Asia Regional Organisations and Programs Annual Program Performance Report 2011 2012 Annual performance report
Related links

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Australia New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) Economic Cooperation Support Program

The Australia New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) entered into force on 1 January 2010. The AANZFTA Economic Cooperation Support Program is supporting developing ASEAN nations to implement AANZFTA. The program is managed in partnership with a support unit within the ASEAN Secretariat, and supports activities covering areas such as services, intellectual property, customs, investment and sanitary and phytosanitary measures.

Related documents*
Name of document Year published Type
AANZFTA Economic Cooperation Support Program—Design Document 2009 Program design
AANZFTA Economic Cooperation Support Program Independent Progress Report May 2013 2013 Evaluation report
AANZFTA Economic Cooperation Support Program Independent Progress Report May 2013—Management response 2013 Evaluation report
East Asia Regional Organisations and Programs Annual Program Performance Report 2011 2012 Annual performance report
Related links

Greater Mekong Subregion Trade and Transport Facilitation

$6 million, 2011-2016

The Greater Mekong Subregion Trade and Transport Facilitation (GMS TTF) Program is helping Mekong countries to adopt and apply the technologies and coordinated border management processes of the ASEAN Economic Community. The Greater Mekong Subregion is one of the fastest growing subregions in the world. It comprises Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Thailand and southern China. All of these countries have reduced poverty as a result of sustained strong economic growth. This has been assisted by increases in export growth achieved through openness to trade, economic integration and policy reform. Improving connectivity between communities of the Greater Mekong Subregion is essential for the Mekong's future prosperity. Better transport links make a significant impact on poverty by creating better conditions for trade and economic development. Equally, the benefits of exports can be increased through the streamlining of export processes.

Through initiatives such as the GMS TTF Program, implemented by the Asian Development Bank, Australia is helping streamline customs procedures, approval documentation, border inspections, and related processes. The aim of the project is to help the GMS subregion (with a particular focus on Cambodia, Laos, Burma and Vietnam) become more integrated as a production base through improved connectivity and cross-border management, transit procedures and exchange of traffic rights.

The GMS TTF Program aims to improve cross-border trade and investment in the GMS through more efficient and standardised border management procedures and logistics operations and to provide countries of the region with technical assistance for the implementation of the GMS TTF Action Plan between 2011 and 2016. Assistance is provided in the areas of transport facilitation, trade facilitation, and capacity building and regulatory framework improvement. This builds on Australia’s past support to the implementation of the GMS Cross-Border Transport Facilitation Agreement.

Related documents*
Name of document Year published Type
Quality at Entry Report—Support to Trade and Transport Facilitation in the Mekong Subregion 2010 Evaluation report
Related links

SHIFT: Shaping Financial Inclusion Transformations in ASEAN

$2.8 million, 2014-2016

This program (implemented by the UN Capital Development Fund) will develop and expand pro-poor financial markets in ASEAN. This will facilitate the transition, by 2020, of at least six million low-income people in the ASEAN region, from unregulated to regulated higher value financial services; enabling them to increase their productive investments and asset ownership. Additionally, national financial systems, particularly those of Least Developed Countries in ASEAN will have more possibilities to capture domestic resources through savings and remittances and increase access to domestic investment for growth.

Related links

Women’s Economic Empowerment and Leadership in ASEAN

$1 million, 2014-2017

This program, implemented by Oxfam Australia, aims to strengthen women’s networks and build capacity in ASEAN. The program will build on the capacity of Women’s Rights Organisations (WROs) to engage with ASEAN institutions and influence policy reforms to support women’s economic empowerment and leadership. It will concentrate efforts across Cambodia, Laos, Burma and Vietnam, as the most vulnerable subregion in ASEAN with the least developed civil society and WRO capacity. The program aims to:

  • improve national level capacity of WROs to articulate to ASEAN the priority issues related to women’s economic empowerment and leadership
  • improve regional capacity to influence ASEAN policies and practices, through the Women’s Caucus (a network of WROs from all ASEAN countries)
  • increase engagement between selected WROs in the ASEAN region and the private sector.

Health assistance in South East Asia

Overview

Australia is helping to reduce the impact of emerging public and animal health threats that have the potential to affect regional and global health, economic growth and stability. Public health emergencies, transboundary livestock diseases, and potential pandemics (caused by emerging infectious diseases and other health concerns such as HIV/AIDS; and resistance to antibiotics, anti-malarial and tuberculosis drugs) are more likely, and potentially more costly, in a region that is increasingly connected through international trade in livestock, transportation links, and cross-border migration. The geographic expansion of drug resistant malaria in the Greater Mekong Subregion is an urgent public health concern, which threatens previous gains achieved through global investments to prevent the spread and ultimately eliminate malaria. The impact of these health threats extends beyond national boundaries and poses significant risks to sustaining economic and development gains in the region.

Australia’s Regional Aid Investments currently focus on four key areas:

  1. Emerging infectious diseases
  2. Drug resistant malaria
  3. Improving drug quality
  4. HIV/AIDS

Avoidable Blindness is recognised as a significant preventable burden to the lives of many within South East Asia. Australia supports the East Asia Avoidable Blindness Initiative ($11.4 million 2012 –2016), which is aimed at reducing avoidable blindness and improving the quality of life for people with low vision and blindness, in support of the Vision 2020 'Right to Sight' global initiative.

Read the Pandemics and Emerging Infectious Diseases Framework 2010–2015

Related initiatives

Stop Transboundary Animal Disease and Zoonoses (STANDZ)

$12.8 million, 2011-2016

Australia is a leading donor in Foot and Mouth Disease eradication in South East Asia. The Stop Transboundary Animal Disease and Zoonoses (STANDZ) program consolidates Australia’s 17-year support to the World Organisation for Animal Health to eradicate Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in South East Asia. Since 1997, Australia has been the region’s largest donor for FMD control.

FMD derails sustainable rural development, agricultural productivity, and food security amongst the Greater Mekong Subregion countries. FMD containment measures restrict trade and deny traders access to higher value domestic or export markets. The STANDZ supported FMD vaccination campaign in Burma protected the livelihoods of 11 communities in Saging from FMD disease outbreak and prevented its spread to other areas.

The program is working to strengthen animal health systems based on international standards so that countries are able to prevent and contain transboundary animal disease outbreaks and also to pre-empt a potential human pandemic from animal-borne emerging infectious diseases (known as Zoonoses).STANDZ is also conducting a pilot rabies-control activity.

Related documents*
Name of document Year published Type
Stop Transboundary Animal Diseases and Zoonoses (STANDZ) Initiative—Monitoring and Evaluation Framework 2012–2016 2012 Evaluation framework
SEACFMD 2020: A Roadmap to Prevent, Control and Eradicate Foot and Mouth Disease in South East Asia and China 2012 Delivery strategy
Stop Transboundary Animal Diseases and Zoonoses (STANDZ) Initiative—Quality at entry report 2011 Quality at entry report
Stop Transboundary Animal Diseases and Zoonoses (STANDZ) Initiative—Design document 2011 Design document
Pandemics and Emerging Infectious Diseases Framework 2010–2015 2010 Project framework
Realised and Potential Economic Benefits of the Southeast Asia Foot and Mouth Disease Campaign 2010 Independent study
World Organisation for Animal Health Fifth Strategic Plan: 2011-2015 2010 Strategic plan
Related links

Coordination of the Emergency Response to Artemisinin Resistance in the Greater Mekong Subregion

$5 million, 2013-2015

The geographic expansion of drug resistant malaria is an urgent public health concern. It threatens to undermine progress made in reducing malaria cases and deaths in the Asia-Pacific region. Drug resistant malaria has been confirmed in the Greater Mekong Subregion. While strong country-level activities are the central building blocks in the response, drug resistance does not respect national boundaries. Consequently, national responses to the threat of resistance are not sufficient and strong regional coordination is crucial.

Australia and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have jointly supported the World Health Organisation on the Coordination of the Emergency Response to Artemisinin Resistance (ERAR) in the Greater Mekong Subregion. The project is strengthening the response to drug resistant malaria through coordinated action, strong technical leadership, and resource mobilization. The project covers activities in six Greater Mekong Subregion countries: Cambodia, China, Laos, Burma, Thailand and Vietnam.

Related documents*
Name of document Year published Type
Emergency response to artemisinin resistance in the Greater Mekong Subregion. Regional framework for action 2013-2015 2013 Framework
Related links

PREVENT Community-based Emerging Infectious Disease Risk Reduction in the Mekong

$6.0 million, 2012-2015

Diseases from animals have caused global public health threats such as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003, Avian Influenza since 2003, the H1N1 pandemic in 2009, H7N9 avian influenza in 2013, and Ebola outbreaks in 2014. These health threats have adverse economic, health and social impacts, particularly for countries with weak health systems. Pandemics also threaten the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable communities. The risk of future pandemics is heightened by increasing contacts between animals and humans. Behaviours that expose people to infection from animals include unhygienic food preparation, wildlife consumption and trade, and mixing livestock and wildlife in small rural farms. Many viruses have no known cure.

Australia has partnered with USAID to prevent the emergence and spread of diseases from animal-to-human and human-to-human. The project identifies those at greatest risk of exposure to emerging infectious disease ‘events’, as well as the activities and practices that put them at risk. The project assesses the effectiveness of existing interventions. It also works with communities to identify feasible alternatives to current practices, and ways to persuade people to adopt these alternatives. The Australia-USAID component of this program is working in Cambodia, Laos, Burma and Vietnam.

PREVENT has worked with the Food and Agriculture Organisation to deploy a risk reduction communication package to poultry markets near the Chinese border in Burma, Laos and Vietnam. Activities aim to prevent the incursion of Avian Influenza A (H7N9) from China.

Related documents*
Name of document Year published Type
Memorandum of Collaboration between Australia and USAID in support of PREVENT community-based emerging infectious disease risk reduction in the Mekong 2012 Agreement
Quality at Entry report on the PREVENT Community-based Emerging Infectious Disease Risk Reduction Project in the Mekong 2012 Quality at entry report
Desk review on Exposure of Humans to Wildlife and the Risk of Spread of Zoonotic Diseases with Pandemic Potential in Laos 2012 Review report
PREVENT Quarterly Report January-March 2013 2013 Progress report
Related links

East Asia Avoidable Blindness Initiative

$11.5 million, 2012-2016

The East Asia Avoidable Blindness Initiative aims to reduce avoidable blindness and low vision to improve quality of life. It will improve and scale up the delivery, availability and use of eye health and vision care services, and will support better integration of eye health services in national health systems. It supports the Vision 2020 'Right to Sight' global initiative.

The East Asia Avoidable Blindness Initiative is built around three program components:

  1. A joint World Health Organisation (WHO) and International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) regional work plan providing technical and policy support to the Western Pacific region.
  2. The East Asia Vision Program in Cambodia, Vietnam and Timor-Leste implemented through Vision 2020 Australia Global Consortium. This program prioritises ‘workforce development’ given the importance of health system strengthening. Its activities also contribute to Governance, policy and Coordination; Service Delivery; and Data and Research.
  3. Direct bilateral support to the national eye institutions of partner governments in Cambodia and Vietnam to strengthen eye health systems.

In 2013 the East Asia Vision Program helped develop national eye health plans in Cambodia and Timor-Leste, as well as a procedure for accreditation of trainees in Timor-Leste. To enhance the workforce, 692 training activities were delivered to individuals in all cadres working in eye health, with relatively equal female to male participation. The curriculum development and teaching staff training for the first optometry education program to be offered in Vietnam took place in 2013. The first optometrist graduate is now working at the Hanoi Medical University and the Vietnam National Institute for Ophthalmology.

In 2013 the ‘Technical Support Program for the Prevention of Blindness and Visual Impairment in the Western Pacific Region’ mobilised resources to prevent avoidable blindness and visual impairment in the Western Pacific and contributed significantly to ‘incremental’ policy change and enhanced planning at the national level. In particular through the adoption of Universal Eye Health: A Regional Action Plan 2014-2019.

Related documents*
Name of document Year published Type
Regional Update for the Western Pacific 2014 Update
Universal Eye Health: A Regional Action Plan 2014-2019 2013 Action plan
Guidelines for National Eye Health Committees Guidelines
WHO Eye Health Systems Assessment in Cambodia and Laos 2013 Systems assessment
Related links

HIV/AIDS Asia Regional Program (HAARP)

$37.8 million, 2005-2014

Australia is one of few donors working on HIV harm reduction for people who inject drugs and their partners in Burma, Cambodia, China, Laos and Vietnam. HIV harm reduction interventions refer to policies, programs and practices used to lessen the negative impacts of drug use and prevent the spread of HIV especially for people who inject drugs. This includes reducing the health, social and economic consequences associated with HIV and AIDS.

The HIV/AIDS Asia Regional Program supports governments and communities to reduce HIV harm associated with drug use through the development of appropriate public health policies, supportive harm reduction environments and life-saving services. This has been demonstrated through policy commitments to end mandatory and adopt voluntary drug treatment practices in Vietnam, HIV harm reduction sensitization programs for police authorities in Cambodia, safer injecting practices and supplementary drug treatment programs across country programs, and increased referrals to HAARP related health services.

Through our HIV/AIDS Asia Regional Program over 480,000 life-saving HIV harm reduction services and treatments were provided to people who inject drugs and their partners in 2013—exceeding by 40 per cent its annual target. Over 2,200 police, law and order officials were also trained in 2013, which has contributed to supportive harm reduction environments in Cambodia and Vietnam. Our efforts, since 2007, have led to growing government acceptance and sustainability of HIV harm reduction in China, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos.

Related documents*
Name of document Year published Type
Report on the 7th HIV/AIDS Asia Regional Program (HAARP) Consultation and Coordination Forum 2013 Meeting report
Report on the 6th HIV/AIDS Asia Regional Program Consultation and Coordination Forum 2012 Meeting report
Australia's international development strategy for HIV - Intensifying the response: Halting the spread of HIV 2009 Strategy
Related links

Human security assistance in South East Asia

Overview

Human trafficking originating in East Asia is the most prominent transnational flow worldwide8 with the Asia-Pacific home to over 11 million victims of forced labour and trafficking9. Cross-border people movement is facilitated by porous borders and improved transportation. More than half of migrant workers in Asia are women10. Australian aid in South East Asia works to improve the human security of vulnerable people by:

  • strengthening the criminal justice response to trafficking in persons
  • ending the commercial sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism
  • preventing the exploitation of migrant workers
  • increasing awareness and regional cooperation on issues of human trafficking.

Factors such as inadequate or unenforced labour laws and regulations, lack of education, limited awareness of the risks of migration, gender inequality, and certain cultural factors increase the vulnerability of people to traffickers and to exploitative employers. Migrant workers, some of whom may enter countries without proper registration, are crossing borders for better opportunities and higher wages, particularly to countries where the demand for cheap labour is high.

Female migrant workers are particularly vulnerable to exploitation and trafficking, as they face multiple forms of discrimination on the basis of their sex, race, ethnicity, nationality, class, and age. Trafficking can result in commercial sexual exploitation; exploitative labour on fishing boats, construction sites and in factories; domestic servitude, and begging and selling goods on the street. These complex and evolving trans-boundary crimes significantly impact development progress we are making in poverty reduction and effective governance in the region.

Related initiatives

Australia-Asia Program to Combat Trafficking in Persons (AAPTIP)

$50 million, 2013-2018

Australia is continuing its decade-long commitment to anti-human trafficking in East Asia through the Australia-Asia Program to Combat Trafficking in Persons (AAPTIP).

AAPTIP strengthens the criminal justice response to trafficking across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states. AAPTIP focuses on the prosecution pillar of anti-trafficking and will strengthen the criminal justice response to trafficking at national levels in Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Burma, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam and in cooperation with regional bodies, such as the ASEAN Secretariat.

The four expected end of program outcomes are:

  • law enforcement agencies improve the effective and ethical investigation of human trafficking cases
  • prosecutors improve the effective and ethical prosecution of human trafficking cases
  • judges and court officials improve the fair and timely adjudication of human trafficking cases
  • regional bodies enhance regional cooperation and leadership on the criminal justice response to human trafficking in the ASEAN region.

AAPTIP’s predecessor programs include the Asia Regional Cooperation to Prevent People Trafficking (ARCPPT; 2003–2006), and the Asia Regional Trafficking in Persons (ARTIP; 2006–2013).

Related documents*
Name of document Year published Type
Australia–Asia Program to Combat Trafficking in Persons—Program Fast Facts 2013 Fact sheet
Australia–Asia Program to Combat Trafficking in Persons (AAPTIP)—Project Design Document and Annexes A–M 2013 Design document
Related links

Triangle Project: Tripartite Action to Protect Migrants within and from the GMS from Labour Exploitation

$9.4 million, 2010-2015

The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) is one of the world’s most dynamic migration hubs. The exploitation of migrant workers is widespread in the region, home to over 11 million victims of forced labour and trafficking11. Australia is promoting safe and legal migration in the region by working to end the exploitation of migrant workers. The ILO TRIANGLE Project works to improve recruitment and labour protection policies and practices, as well as provide resources and support services to migrant workers.

The TRIANGLE project commenced in May 2010 and will run until August 2015. Partner countries are Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Thailand, and Vietnam, as well as Malaysia, a key destination country for migrant workers from GMS countries. The project, implemented by the International Labour Organization, works with governments, trade unions, recruitment agencies and civil society to strengthen labour protection mechanisms, address gender-specific concerns, and to encourage safe and legal migration within the region.

Related documents*
Name of document Year published Type
Mid-term evaluation of the Tripartite Action to Protect Migrants within the Greater Mekong Subregion from Labour Exploitation (TRIANGLE) Project 2013 Evaluation report
DFAT Management response to Mid-term evaluation of the TRIANGLE Project 2013 DFAT management report
Report of the 7th Session of the Sub-Regional Advisory Committee (SURAC) Meeting 2013 Meeting report
ILO TRIANGLE Annual Report 2011 - 2012 2012 Annual project report
Report of the 7th Session of the Sub-Regional Advisory Committee (SURAC) Meeting 2012 Meeting report
TRIANGLE Project—Design Document 2010 Design document
Related links

UN Women—Preventing the Exploitation of Migrant Women Workers in ASEAN Project

$2 million, 2014-2016

The Australian Government has established a new project to help prevent the abuse and exploitation of women migrant workers in South East Asia. UN Women, the UN agency responsible for promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment, will work together with governments and key national and regional actors to implement the project.

Through this project Australia is seeking to prevent the abuse, violence and exploitation of women migrant workers in the ASEAN region. Policy advocacy will be undertaken to prevent and eliminate the exploitation of women migrant workers. Australia will also support women migrants and public interest groups to understand the risks associated with migration and their legal rights.

Over the last 20 years, ASEAN has witnessed a significant increase in the number of people, especially women, moving between countries in search of employment. Typically, women in the region are moving to take up jobs as domestic workers, or to work in the entertainment or manufacturing industries. Much of this movement is undocumented, making migrant workers vulnerable to labour exploitation and other human rights abuses.

Related links

Our partnerships in South East Asia

Overview

Australian and International non-government organisations (NGOs) bring particular strengths to the aid program. Some of our partners have been working in international aid and development for more than 60 years. They mobilise public support and voluntary contributions for aid, and work in areas which are difficult to access such as conflict affected regions.

Through our partnerships with key NGOs operating in South East Asia and beyond, we are identifying innovative responses to development challenges, and are better able to deliver effective on the ground assistance.

Related initiatives

DFAT-The Asia Foundation Partnership

$19.5 million, 2012-2015

Through our partnership with The Asia Foundation we support activities that improve governance, law and justice, women’s empowerment and gender equality and economic reform, as well as reducing conflict, improving stability, and addressing fragility in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Partnership also provides DFAT with opportunities for knowledge sharing and capacity building, drawing on The Asia Foundation’s deep local knowledge and networks, innovative program approaches, and 18 permanent country offices.

Related documents*
Name of document Year published Type
Funding agreement between AusAID and The Asia Foundation 2012-2014 2012 Funding agreement
Partnership Agreement between AusAID and The Asia Foundation 2012-2014 2012 Partnership agreement
AusAID-The Asia Foundation performance framework 2012 Performance framework
Related links

Australia–Mekong Non-Government Organisation Engagement Platform

$15 million, 2012-2018

The Australia-Mekong NGO Engagement Platform (AMNEP) supports the work of DFAT and NGOs to deliver effective on-the-ground support for those most in need in the Mekong region.

NGOs operate in some of the most challenging environments and poorest communities in the Mekong region. AMNEP brings high quality technical expertise, access to policy dialogue and learning opportunities, and resources for better monitoring, evaluation and risk management to our partnerships with NGOs. AMNEP is based in Hanoi, Vietnam, and supports NGO work within bilateral programs in Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Vietnam and regionally.

Related documents*
Name of document Year published Type
Australia–Mekong Non-Government Organisation Engagement Platform Design document 2012 Program design
Australia–Mekong Non-Government Organisation Engagement Platform fact sheet 2013 Fact sheet

Water resources assistance in South East Asia

Overview

Support for the Mekong River Commission and Mekong countries to better manage water resources is important to regional stability and to the sustainable economic growth of the region. Australia has an interest in ensuring that regional water development discussions and decisions are well-informed, transparent, inclusive, and result in the best possible development outcomes. Poor water resource development decisions, and the scale of their national and transboundary impacts, have the potential for major impact on food security and livelihoods, and cause friction within and between Mekong states.

The Australian Mekong Water Resources Program is highly relevant to the development needs of the Mekong Region given the importance of the region’s waterways to local livelihoods and the scale of current and planned investments, particularly in hydropower and irrigation. The program connects directly with Australia’s own experienced water industry, assisting it learn from and contribute to improved water resources development beyond our borders. The program strengthens governance of the region’s waterways, which is important for sustainable economic growth and regional stability.

The goal of the DFAT Mekong Water Resources Program (2014-2018) is:

  • water resources management in the Mekong Region supports economic development that is sustainable, equitable and improves livelihoods. This will contribute to water, food and energy security in the region.

The program will contribute to this goal if it achieves the following objective:

  • Mekong Region water resources governance is fairer and more effective.

To support Mekong Region water resources to be fairer and more effective, the new framework of DFAT’s Mekong Water Resources Program will, in partnership with key stakeholders, focus on effectively-managed, accountable, informed and inclusive water governance, with a strong cross cutting emphasis on policy dialogue [see definitions below]. These outcomes recognise that improving regional water resources management requires engagement with, and commitment from, a range of different actors: the Mekong River Commission, Mekong governments at national and provincial levels, civil society, companies and financiers. The program will work with all these actors to improve regional water resources governance, either directly or through implementation partners.

Results from this program include:

  • supporting the negotiation of new water resources policies and institutional reforms in Laos and Cambodia
  • significant capacity building for state and non-state bodies through professional development, fellowships, technical assistance and twinning partnerships
  • convening national and regional policy dialogues to tackle poverty-related water-food-energy challenges
  • piloting protocols with developers, financiers, governments and civil society organisations to improve accountability of decision-making and the quality of water resources infrastructure.

Read the Australian Mekong Water Resources Program Aid Program Performance Report January 2012 – June 2013

Read the Mekong Water Resources Program - Annual Program Performance Report 2011

Read the Mekong Water Delivery Strategy 2009-12

Related links

Related initiatives

Cambodia Integrated Water Resource Management Support Program

$5 million, 2011-2016

Improving water governance in Cambodia through better irrigation systems and integrated water resource management.

Related documents*
Name of document Year published Type
Mekong Water Resources Program—Annual Program Performance Report 2011 2012 Annual program
Quality at Entry Report—Cambodia Water Resources Project 2011 Quality report
Design Summary and Implementation Document—Cambodia Water Resources Project 2010 Design summary

Laos Water Resources Project

$3.2 million, 2011-2015

Improving management of national water resources in Laos by strengthening the capability of government agencies.

Related documents*
Name of document Year published Type
Laos Integrated Water Resources Management Program—Design Summary and Implementation Document 2010 Design and implementation
Laos Integrated Water Resources Management Program—Quality at Entry Report 2010 Quality report

Piloting of eWater Source with the Mekong River Commission

$2.2 million, 2013-2016

This funding was for a successful pilot project and to rollout the eWater Source (river modelling system) to the Mekong River Commission and its member countries.

Laos Hydropower and Mining Technical Assistance

$3 million, 2010-2014

Improving water governance in Cambodia through better irrigation systems and integrated water resource management.

Related links

Sustainable Hydropower in the Mekong Countries

$6 million, 2013-2017

Working with the private sector to improve and apply Environmental and Social Standards for investments in hydropower throughout Laos and the Mekong region.

Related links

Vietnam Mekong Delta Study

$1.5 million, 2012-2015

Research to assess the impact of Mekong mainstream hydropower developments on the Mekong Delta of Vietnam.

Co-Financing to Mekong River Commission Council Study

$0.5 million, 2014-2016

The study will present the Mekong River Commission with a set of actionable recommendations addressing potential uncertainties, risks and information needs for development planning in the Lower Mekong Basin, including recommendations for impact avoidance and mitigation measures for future development.

Oxfam-Civil Society Engagement in Water Governance

$6 million, 2013-2017

Supporting greater inclusion of civil society in water governance and decision making in the Mekong region. This also supports communities and civil society to realise sustainable livelihoods through increasing civil society participation and engagement, strengthening capacity and convening and promoting policy dialogue.

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Supporting Mekong Water Resources Management

$6.2 million, 2014-2018

Grant to support the Mekong River Commission (MRC) decentralisation process and implementation of the agreed core river basin management functions. These activities include improving MRC exchange with civil society, research institutes and private sector developers, implementation of MRC procedures, strengthening regional river basin planning and strengthening dialogue between Mekong countries on how to sustainably and equitably develop the Mekong River Basin.

Research for Development on Water Governance

$6 million, 2014-2018

Grant funding to International Water Management Institute to work with local research institutes in the Mekong region to conduct research on water governance that will generate sound and scientific evidence that will support informed decision making.

 

1. Average real GDP growth rate (unweighted) 2009 to 2013 was 5.5% for ASEAN countries (plus Timor Leste, and excluding Singapore). The unweighted average is the average of the growth rates over 5 years across the group of countries, and as such, it does not reflect the relativities between the size of each country’s economy. Source: International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database, April 2014

2. “Table A3: Poverty headcount ratio using normal CPI ($2 per day poverty line) in G. Wan and I. Sebastia, Poverty in Asia and the Pacific: An Update (August 1, 2011). Asian Development Bank Economics Working Paper No. 267

3. OECD (2013), "Overview of development gaps in Southeast Asia: Gaps between ASEAN -6 and CLM V countries", in OECD, Southeast Asian Economic Outlook 2013: With Perspectives on China and India, OECD Publishing. DOI: 10.1787/saeo-2013-9-en

4. Through GMS Triangle: Tripartite Action to Protect Migrants in the GMS from Labour Exploitation program as reported in SEA regional aid programs quarterly progress report, Aug 2014.

5. APPR 2013-14 Mekong Water Resources Program

6. Ibid.

7. AMNEP

8. The UNODC Global report on Trafficking in Persons 2012 detected East Asians in 64 countries worldwide, often in large numbers. While most of the trafficked persons from East Asia stay within the region (including within a single country), the region is a significant area of origin of interregional trafficking.

9. ILO Global Estimate of Forced Labour, 2012

10. UNWomen Asia and The Pacific Migrant Workers

11. ILO Global Estimate of Forced Labour, 2012

Last reviewed: 15 December, 2014