Australia, through AusAID is one of the largest aid donors to Vietnam since 1991. In recent years, Australia's bilateral aid to Vietnam has amounted to almost A$60 million per year, in addition, Vietnam receives around A$14 million per year through Australian funding for regional programs, NGOs and emergency assistance.
Australia's development assistance to Vietnam aims to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable economic and social development. Australia will increasingly work through Vietnamese government systems, engage sub-national institutions and explore new aid options. Assistance for rural and agricultural development remains a high priority.
The current country program strategy (2003-2007) has two principle objectives: to contribute to broad-based economic growth by strengthening the governance of institutions required for a competitive market economy; and to assist with improving productivity and links to markets for the rural poor in the Mekong Delta and Central Coast regions.
Activities include assistance to Vietnam to strengthen water management and support essential water delivery systems and to support agricultural research institutions, with the aim of increasing the productivity and market competitiveness in the agricultural sector.
Australian assistance also includes support for Vietnam’s economic reform agenda through the Poverty Reduction Support Credit program of the World Bank and assistance for Vietnam to prepare for and meet the obligations of WTO membership following Vietnam’s accession in January 2007.
Tertiary study in Australia is also a major component of the cooperation program. Under the new Australian Leadership Awards targeting the development of future leaders, 26 scholarships have been awarded to high achieving Vietnam scholars and professionals for post graduate study in Australia.
Under the Australian Development Scholarships program, around 700 Vietnamese students are currently studying at tertiary institutions in Australia. About 150 new students commence studying in Australia each year. The scholarships target areas of training or study that meet Vietnam's development needs and complement other areas of Australian assistance.
Vietnam and Australia also introduced a program of technical cooperation on human rights in 2006. The program provides opportunities to foster practical cooperation between agencies such as the Vietnam Women's Union, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice and Australian institutions with human rights responsibilities and expertise.
The Australian aid program in Vietnam implements practical human rights cooperation with Vietnam, including sponsorship of a human rights course in Hanoi with the Ho Chi Minh Political Academy, attended by Party and Government officials.
Further details about Australia's aid assistance programs to Vietnam