Ausaid Annual Report
2012–13

australian agency for international development

Program 1.2 ODA East Asia

Summary of performance

Objective: to assist developing countries in the East Asia region to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development

Key performance indicators
Results 2010–11
Results 2011–12
Results 2012–13
Significant development results, including under tier 2 of the Comprehensive Aid Policy Framework's headline results*
Significant development results, including under tier 2 of the Comprehensive Aid Policy Framework's headline results were achieved, as highlighted on pages 73 to 105
Demonstrated organisational effectiveness, including performance against tier 3 of the Comprehensive Aid Policy Framework's headline results*
Demonstrated organisational effectiveness, including performance against tier 3 of the Comprehensive Aid Policy Framework's headline results, as highlighted on pages 73 to 105
Significant development results and significant activity outputs**
Significant development results and activity outputs were achieved, as reported by individual programs
Significant development results and activity outputs were achieved, as reported by individual programs
At least 75 per cent of activities receive a quality rating of satisfactory or higher**
83 per cent of the aggregated quality ratings for East Asia programs were satisfactory or higher
80 per cent of the aggregated quality ratings for East Asia programs were satisfactory or higher
At least 75 per cent of program strategy objectives fully or partially achieved**
86 per cent of program strategy objectives were fully or partially achieved. Of this total, 36 per cent of program strategy objectives were fully achieved and 50 per cent were partially achieved
97 per cent of program strategy objectives were fully or partially achieved. Of this, 42.3 per cent of program strategy objectives were fully achieved and 54.4 per cent of program strategy objectives were partially achieved
Strategies in place for 100 per cent of country, regional and thematic programs**
89 per cent of East Asia programs were covered by strategies. By dollar value, 98 per cent of program allocations were covered by strategies
88 per cent of East Asia programs were covered by strategies. By dollar value, 90 per cent of program allocations were covered by strategies
90 per cent of activities are compliant with the quality at implementation process**
98 per cent of East Asia program activities were compliant with the quality at implementation process
98 per cent of East Asia program activities were compliant with the quality at implementation process

* This indicator was introduced in 2012–13 and was not reported against in 2010–11 and 2011–12.

** This indicator has been discontinued and was not reported against in 2012–13.

 

A map showing the region of East Asia. The top of Australia can just be seen at the bottom of the map. The countries are colour coded according to how much aid they received from Australia in 2012–13.

* Amount does not include humanitarian assistance during 2012–13.

 

East Asia

East Asia is a region of vital national interest to Australia. Of the eight East Asian nations that are the largest recipients of Australian aid, four are least developed countries37 and two have experienced conflict in the past decade. More than 200 million people live in poverty in these countries—around half the population—and many more are vulnerable to falling into poverty due to illness, job loss or natural disasters.38 Although economic growth in East Asia has eliminated a large amount of poverty, it has not been uniform, either across or within countries. More than half the children under five years in Timor-Leste are stunted, and nearly one in five Cambodians aged seven to 14 is illiterate.39 Progress on the Millennium Development Goals has been uneven with Myanmar on track to achieve only one of seven goals. Encouragingly, Myanmar is undergoing a period of rapid political and economic transition, one that Australia has supported by increasing its assistance during the past year.

Reflecting the importance of East Asia to Australia and AusAID's ability to make a difference, our assistance has grown strongly over the past decade. Australia is now the third largest bilateral donor to the region. This is firmly in our national interest. Our aid strengthens linkages with partner countries, helps maintain stability and enhances prosperity. The aid program is helping to build skills and strengthen institutions in partner countries. We are also supporting regional initiatives and working through regional institutions and organisations.

In 2012–13, Australia's country and regional program aid to East Asia totalled $977.4 million. This was a 6.4 per cent increase from the previous financial year. Additional assistance through other aid programs and through other government agencies brought Australia's official development assistance (ODA) to an estimated $1.28 billion.

Working closely with partner governments and a range of development partners, Australia has been able to make a real difference to the lives of people in East Asia in 2012–13.

We have been saving lives by:

  • providing 770 263 people with better access to safe water
  • providing 504 291 additional people with increased access to basic sanitation
  • ensuring 60 079 additional births were attended by a skilled birth attendant.

We have been promoting opportunities for all by:

  • providing 123 096 students with financial or nutritional support
  • providing services to 22 344 people with disability
  • ensuring 1349 women survivors of violence received services including counselling
  • training 22 348 school officials.

We have been encouraging sustainable economic development by:

  • allowing access to social transfers, such as health, education and food subsidies, for more than seven million additional poor women and men
  • enabling access to new or enhanced agricultural technologies for 257 619 poor women and men.

We have been promoting effective governance by:

  • providing 53 852 instances of training to public servants
  • providing 7388 instances of training to police and other law and order officials
  • supporting 933 civil society organisations to track service provision.

We have been preparing for and responding to humanitarian emergencies and disasters by:

  • providing life-saving assistance to 608 812 vulnerable women, men, girls and boys in humanitarian situations.

Figure 10: Estimated total Australian ODA to East Asia by country 2012–13

Figure 10: A pie chart showing the estimated total Australian development assistance  to East Asia, broken down by country, in 2012–13. This includes Indonesia 44 per cent, Vietnam 12 per cent, Philippines 11 per cent, Timor-Leste 10 per cent, Cambodia seven per cent, Myanmar five per cent, Laos five per cent, regional and other including aid to Thailand and Malaysia through global and regional programs and from other government agencies three per cent, China one per cent and Mongolia one per cent.

Indonesia

Indonesia Millennium Development Goals scorecard—Millennium Development Goal 1 tick, Millennium Development Goal 2 tick, Millennium Development Goal 3 tick, Millennium Development Goal 4 tick, Millennium Development Goal 5 cross, Millennium Development Goal 6 cross, Millennium Development Goal 7 cross.

Key statistics

Progress towards the Millennium Development Goals40

Population
246.9 million
Income level
Lower middle income
Gross domestic product per capita (PPP)41
USD4956
Human Development Index rank
121 of 186
Australian ODA as a percentage of total ODA
10.5% (2009)   10.4% (2010)   16.9% (2011)

In 2012–13, Australia's country program to Indonesia totalled $484.7 million. Other assistance through Australia's regional and global programs and other government agencies brought Australia's total official development assistance (ODA) to an estimated $541.6 million. Australia is the second largest bilateral aid donor to Indonesia but the largest grant donor.

Australia has a strong and effective development partnership with Indonesia that is focused on tackling poverty. Despite Indonesia's strong economic growth over several decades, poverty remains pervasive. Around 120 million Indonesians still live on less than USD2 a day, half the population does not have access to safe water and an Indonesian child is seven times more likely than an Australian child to die before their fifth birthday. Helping Indonesia tackle poverty is strongly in our national interest. Australia benefits from stable and secure neighbours, and a prosperous Indonesia is also good for our own economy.

Australia is addressing these challenges by helping the poor and disadvantaged through support for the Indonesian Government's social assistance programs, including President Yudhoyono's flagship National Program for Community Empowerment. The program is a community-based village infrastructure program providing grants for rural communities in more than 70 000 villages. It has benefited 35 million people by funding roads, bridges, wells and basic health and education services. AusAID's approach includes trialling innovative ways of delivering assistance and helping the Indonesian Government take successful programs to scale to reach more and more people.

Australia is also supporting improvements to Indonesia's social assistance programs including health insurance, scholarships and cash transfers. We supported the Vice President's office to trial improvements to existing programs and pilot new ideas. For example, over the past year Australian support has helped develop a database of the poorest 40 per cent of the population, which is being used to ensure that social assistance gets to those who need it most. As a result 6.3 million more poor Indonesians are now able to access Indonesian Government support.

Basic education lifts people out of poverty and the education program remains the flagship of the development partnership. Australia's Education Partnership 2011–2016 aims to improve education quality through professional development and better school management, and by establishing around another 300 000 new junior secondary school places by 2016. Papua and West Papua are among Indonesia's poorest provinces and school enrolment levels are well below the national average. In these provinces we support more effective early grade teaching and in 2012 more than 1100 teachers and 370 principals were trained and new learning materials were distributed in those provinces.

The Australia Awards focus on Indonesia's emerging human resource needs, including in health and education. In 2012, 603 Australia Awards were provided to Indonesians for short or long-term study in Australia.

Infrastructure aimed at growth and long-term stability remains a high priority for the Indonesian Government. The Australian funded Eastern Indonesia National Road Improvement Project has increased economic activity and social development. More people are now able to reach schools and health clinics, and local produce can get to markets more readily. Australia also supports the government to improve delivery of clean water, basic sanitation and wastewater management, which helps to save lives. In 2012–13 Australian funding provided access for around 600 000 people to safe water and for more than 300 000 people to basic sanitation.

Australia's health partnership is aimed at accelerating progress towards Millennium Development Goal targets for nutrition, maternal health and HIV/AIDS, and universal coverage of essential health services. To achieve this, our programs work across health systems to strengthen maternal and neonatal health, and on conditions more likely to impact poor and vulnerable people, including HIV/AIDS and emerging infectious diseases. For example, in Papua and West Papua where the prevalence of HIV in the adult population is eight times the national rate, our previous programs achieved a tenfold increase in the number of people receiving treatment in clinics and hospitals. Our current assistance will treat more than 20 000 people living with HIV in these provinces, and improve testing services, over the next four years.

Reform of financial management, the public sector and democratic processes is vital for Indonesia to continue economic growth and poverty reduction. Australia is providing support to Indonesian Government agencies and civil society organisations to promote inclusive economic growth and to improve access to basic services for the poor and marginalised. Our decentralisation program will help local officials in five Indonesian provinces improve their planning, budgeting, accounting and reporting practices, resulting in better public financial management and service delivery. Australia's electoral support aims to enhance the quality of Indonesia's elections by improving the performance of electoral management bodies and increasing public engagement in electoral processes.

Indonesia is one of the most disaster prone countries in the world—in the last 10 years natural disasters have killed more than 200 000 people. Through the Australia–Indonesia Facility for Disaster Reduction, Australia and Indonesia work in partnership to improve Indonesia's ability to prepare for, manage and reduce the risks of disasters. Together we have produced realistic natural hazard scenarios and new earthquake hazard maps for seven provinces, and undertaken real-time earthquake impact assessments for 160 earthquakes since November 2012.

Six people stand in a row, ankle deep in clear water with clear sky above them. They hold large handfuls of seaweed, pulling out strings for closer inspection.

Caption: In East Lombok alternative methods of growing seaweed are being trialled which are more resilient to storms

Credit: Courtesy of Adam Harper, CSIRO

 

Working closely with the Indonesian Government and a range of development partners, Australia has been able to make a real difference to the lives of Indonesians in 2012–13.

We have been saving lives by:

  • connecting around 600 000 people to safe water and more than 300 000 people to basic sanitation
  • ensuring more than 34 000 additional births were attended by a skilled birth attendant
  • helping reduce maternal deaths in program districts in Nusa Tenggara Timur from 185 in 2009 to 125 in 2012
  • testing 9542 people for HIV and initiating antiretroviral drug treatment for 1034 new patients in Papua and West Papua
  • increasing the number of syringes distributed through health services and civil society organisations from 646 832 in 2011 to 1 340 793 in 2012, helping to reduce the incidence of HIV.

We have been promoting opportunities for all by:

  • constructing or upgrading 732 classrooms, 40 libraries and 11 science laboratories
  • training more than 19 000 school officials in school management and leadership
  • providing 603 Australia Awards for short or long-term study in Australia.

We have been encouraging sustainable economic development by:

  • ensuring an additional 6 959 824 vulnerable women, men and children received cash transfers or basic nutritional support through our assistance for social protection
  • improving people's access to services and markets by constructing, rehabilitating or maintaining 111 kilometres of roads.

We have been promoting effective governance by:

  • training more than 37 000 public servants in good governance and service delivery
  • training 1535 police and other law and order officials to improve community safety
  • helping to develop software that provides an accurate list of around 190 million voters and a mechanism to allocate voters to polling stations, managed by more than 500 field offices.

We have been preparing for and responding to humanitarian emergencies and disasters by:

  • supporting open source software to produce realistic natural hazard scenarios, new earthquake hazard maps for seven provinces and real-time earthquake impact assessment for 160 earthquakes
  • training an emergency response team of 60 people to stand ready in the event of a disaster in Indonesia.

Figure 11: Estimated total Australian ODA to Indonesia by strategic goal 2012–13

Figure 11:A pie chart showing estimated total Australian official development assistance to Indonesia for 2012–13, by strategic goal. It includes promoting opportunities for all 28 per cent, sustainable economic development 26 per cent, saving lives 22 per cent, effective governance 15 per cent, humanitarian and disaster preparedness and response four per cent, and general development support four per cent.

Vietnam

Vietnam Millennium Development Goals scorecard—Millennium Development Goal 1 tick, Millennium Development Goal 2 tick, Millennium Development Goal 3 tick, Millennium Development Goal 4 tick, Millennium Development Goal 5 tick, Millennium Development Goal 6 cross, Millennium Development Goal 7 cross.

Key statistics

Progress towards the Millennium Development Goals42

Population
88.78 million
Income level
Lower middle income
Gross domestic product per capita (PPP)43
USD3635
Human Development Index rank
127 of 186
Australian ODA as a percentage of total ODA
1.7% (2009)   3.5% (2010)   3.3% (2011)

In 2012–13, Australia's country program aid to Vietnam totalled $103.9 million. Other assistance through Australia's regional and global programs and through other government agencies brought Australia's total official development assistance (ODA) to an estimated $153.1 million. Australia is the fourth largest bilateral aid donor to Vietnam.

Vietnam has made significant progress in addressing poverty over recent decades but pockets of poverty and inequality still exist. As it moves towards middle income status, Vietnam faces constraints to continuing economic development. Economic growth slowed to around five per cent in 2012, down from 5.8 per cent in 2011. To maintain growth and ensure benefits are shared, Vietnam needs a skilled workforce, a more efficient and effective public sector, and an environment that encourages economic competitiveness.

The Australia–Vietnam Joint Aid Program Strategy 2010–2015 guides AusAID's program in Vietnam, focusing on developing human resources, supporting economic integration and ensuring environmental sustainability. This reflects Vietnam's priorities, and the areas where progress is needed to reach Vietnam's goal of becoming an industrialised country by 2020.

Australia is strengthening Vietnam's human resources by building leadership, knowledge and technical skills. Vietnam is the second largest recipient of Australia Awards and there are now 3600 Australia Awards alumni in Vietnam. AusAID funded alumni are now working in the private, non-government and public sectors.

Australia's co-financed investments with the World Bank and Asian Development Bank are helping Vietnam improve its transport infrastructure. During 2012–13, AusAID completed design of the Cao Lanh Bridge over the Mekong River (part of the Central Mekong Delta Connectivity Project). AusAID also progressed construction of the Southern Coastal Corridor—which will provide a major transport link between Vietnam and key economic zones in Cambodia, Thailand and the region—and continued to upgrade secondary roads in the Mekong Delta to improve links with major transport routes. Together, these projects will link producers with expanded markets and improve incomes, employment and access to services.

Australia continues to support Vietnam's economic reforms. During 2012–13, Australia funded research and consultations with the public, private and non-government sectors to support new laws on state-owned enterprises and land management. AusAID also helped farmers lift their incomes by improving their understanding of export regulatory standards. Effectiveness, however, continues to be hampered by policy and institutional uncertainty. From 2013–14, AusAID will build on successes to date by providing more focused support for Vietnam's economic integration with the global economy through reforms in finance, banking, industry, state-owned enterprises, competition policy and land policy.

With Australia's support, Vietnam has made good progress in improving access to safe water and sanitation for its rural population. In 2011, only 76 per cent of the rural population had access to safe water and 52 per cent of rural households had access to hygienic toilets. By the end of 2012 this increased to 80.5 per cent of the rural population accessing safe water and 56 per cent of rural households accessing hygienic toilets.

During 2012–13, AusAID commenced a range of projects with non-government organisations, the World Bank and bilateral donors to help Vietnam tackle climate change and natural disasters. This included supporting Vietnam's national policy actions, working with provincial governments and communities on measures to protect and promote people's livelihoods, and providing technical assistance on measures to increase energy efficiency.

Working closely with the Vietnam Government and a range of development partners, Australia has been able to make a real difference to the lives of Vietnamese in 2012–13.

We have been saving lives by:

  • providing an extra 115 000 people with access to safe water and an extra 155 000 people with hygienic toilets, through Australia's contribution to Vietnam's national program
  • building or upgrading water and sanitation facilities in around 350 schools and 70 medical clinics during 2012.

We have been promoting opportunities for all by:

  • providing 452 Australia Awards Scholarships for tertiary study in Australia (61 per cent of these were to women), and 185 Australia Awards Fellowships for Vietnamese from the private, public and non-government sectors to undertake training and work attachments in Australia
  • establishing a dedicated Equity of Access Fund to support Australia Awards applications from people with disability and from disadvantaged areas.

We have been encouraging sustainable economic development by:

  • improving access to services and markets for rural poor in the Mekong Delta by constructing and upgrading 13 kilometres of roads
  • completing the detailed design for the Cao Lanh Bridge across the Mekong River
  • supporting Vietnam's Green Growth Strategy by introducing mandatory energy efficiency labelling for appliances.

We have been preparing for and responding to humanitarian emergencies and disasters by:

  • commencing partnerships with six not-for-profit organisations to directly help 270 000 people build resilience to climate change and natural disasters.

Philippines

Philippines Millennium Development Goals scorecard—Millennium Development Goal 1 cross, Millennium Development Goal 2 cross, Millennium Development Goal 3 tick, Millennium Development Goal 4 cross, Millennium Development Goal 5 cross, Millennium Development Goal 6 tick, Millennium Development Goal 7 tick.

Key statistics

Progress towards the Millennium Development Goals44

Population
96.71 million
Income level
Lower middle income
Gross domestic product per capita (PPP)45
USD4413
Human Development Index rank
114 of 186
Australian ODA as a percentage of total ODA
8% (2009)   7.3% (2010)   12.1% (2011)

In 2012–13, Australia's country program aid to the Philippines totalled $99.2 million. Other assistance through Australia's regional and global programs and through other government agencies brought Australia's total official development assistance (ODA) to an estimated $136.9 million. Australia is the third largest bilateral aid donor to the Philippines.

President Aquino's third year in office was marked with his ambitious reform agenda to address corruption and strengthen governance. Progress in addressing corruption was evident as the Philippines climbed 24 places in Transparency International's 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index. Economic growth surged to 6.6 per cent in 2012, the highest rate in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). A major step towards building peace and security in conflict-affected Mindanao was achieved with the October 2012 signing of a framework peace agreement between the Philippines Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Notwithstanding these positive developments, entrenched poverty continued to affect 39 million Filipinos. Economic growth relies heavily on remittances from Filipinos living overseas and expansion in limited sectors, which has not led to a reduction in poverty. In 2012 the country also struggled to achieve its Millennium Development Goal targets for education, child mortality and maternal health.

The Australia–Philippines Program Strategy 2012–2017, developed in partnership with the Philippines Government, aims to:

  • improve education
  • improve local government capacity to deliver basic services
  • reduce vulnerabilities to the impacts of natural disasters and climate change
  • improve conditions for peace and security
  • support governance reforms in public financial management, budget transparency and accountability.

Australia is the Philippines lead development partner in education, with a focus on increasing participation in basic education and supporting the government's education reform agenda. In 2012–13, Australia worked with partners to deliver high quality education to children without access to government schools, extend culturally sensitive kindergarten classes to Muslim communities and expand school health and hygiene programs in public schools.

Given the Philippines high vulnerability to natural disasters, strengthening disaster risk management is a high priority for Australia's aid program. In 2012–13, Australia commenced community-based risk management programs supporting urban poor in Manila to be better prepared and more resilient to natural disasters. In December 2012 Typhoon Bopha caused widespread damage in Mindanao, affecting more than six million people and causing more than 1000 deaths. Australia responded swiftly with a humanitarian package of $10.55 million assisting more than 500 000 affected people.

The 2013 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Development Assistance Committee peer review of Australia commended AusAID's work in the Philippines, in particular in education and disaster risk management. The peer review also highlighted the Philippines program as flexible, responsive and continuously seeking to learn from experience.

Working closely with the Philippines Government and a range of development partners, Australia has been able to make a real difference to the lives of Filipinos in 2012–13.

We have been promoting opportunities for all by:

  • supporting 103 625 additional children to enrol in school
  • providing 201 Australia Awards to support Filipinos to study in Australia
  • supporting 78 Indigenous groups, 14 Muslim communities and 577 schools to deliver culturally sensitive curricula
  • introducing an electronic basic education information system to reduce planning and budgeting cycles from 10 to three months.

We have been encouraging sustainable economic development by:

  • upgrading roads so that 102 000 school children, 28 000 farmers, and 51 000 families living in road-side communities save money and time in transport.

We have been promoting effective governance by:

  • supporting the Philippines Government to meet its 2012 target of bidding on eight public private partnerships projects and awarding two projects with a combined value of more than $3 billion
  • working in partnership with a coalition of government, civil society, media and the private sector to register more than 65 000 people with disability to vote in national elections.

We have been preparing for and responding to humanitarian emergencies and disasters by:

  • preventing the outbreak of disease after August 2012 floods in Manila and Typhoon Bopha through our Surveillance in Post-Extreme Emergencies and Disasters Project, successfully implemented with 1600 health workers trained on using the system
  • supporting the Philippines Government's decision to resettle 20 000 families living in flood prone areas of Manila.

Timor-Leste

Timor-Leste Millennium Development Goals scorecard—Millennium Development Goal 1 cross, Millennium Development Goal 2 cross, Millennium Development Goal 3 cross, Millennium Development Goal 4 tick, Millennium Development Goal 5 cross, Millennium Development Goal 6 tick, Millennium Development Goal 7 tick.

Key statistics

Progress towards the Millennium Development Goals46

Population
1.210 million
Income level47
Lower middle income
Gross domestic product per capita (PPP)48
USD1709
Human Development Index rank
134 of 186
Australian ODA as a percentage of total ODA
28.6% (2009)   42.6% (2010)   37.2% (2011)

In 2012–13, Australia's country program aid to Timor-Leste totalled $69.7 million. Other assistance through Australia's regional and global programs as well as other government agencies—chiefly the Australian Federal Police—brought Australia's total official development assistance (ODA) to an estimated $119.5 million. Australia remains the largest bilateral aid donor to Timor-Leste.

Timor-Leste had an historic year in 2012. It celebrated its 10th anniversary of independence in May. Around the same time, Timor-Leste also held peaceful presidential and parliamentary elections that led to the appointment of a new president and changes to the ruling government coalition. In December 2012, the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste successfully completed its mandate and withdrew from the country. After successive years of intervention, the departure of the United Nations mission marked a critical milestone in the consolidation of Timor-Leste's state institutions. In parallel, the Australian-led International Stabilisation Force also ceased operations and withdrew, signalling a return of security and stability to Timor-Leste.

Timor-Leste is a different country today from 2006. The public sector has strengthened, evidenced by the delivery of basic services to many parts of the country. Schools and markets have reopened and critical infrastructure such as roads and electricity are being rehabilitated and extended. Most of this investment has been financed by the proceeds of Timor-Leste's hydrocarbon reserves, which continue to act as a major stimulus for the Timorese economy. Since 2007, economic growth has averaged double figures and this growth trajectory is forecast to continue. In May 2013, Timor-Leste's Petroleum Fund was estimated to be valued at around USD13 billion.

While steady economic gains are being made, particularly in Dili, Timor-Leste remains one of the world's poorest countries. Seventy-two per cent of the population lives on less than USD2 a day. Maternal and child mortality rates still significantly exceed the regional average and for the children that survive, 58 per cent are stunted as a result of malnutrition. Education standards also remain poor. Most adults have never been to school and the average years of schooling is particularly low, at just 2.8 years.

However with Australian help the impact of poverty is being alleviated for tens of thousands of Timorese. Under the framework of our Strategic Planning Agreement for Development (2011), Australia is committed to supporting Timor-Leste to achieve its own development goals as outlined in its Strategic Development Plan 2011–2013.

In 2012–13, the Australian aid program supported Timor-Leste to improve:

  • access for rural Timorese to safe water and sanitation
  • the quality of education for students
  • the delivery of health services, particularly in the districts
  • effective governance by strengthening the capacity of state institutions to deliver quality services to those who need it most.

Working closely with the Government of Timor-Leste and other development partners, Australia has been able to make a real difference to the lives of Timorese in 2012–13.

We have been saving lives by:

  • providing more than 77 000 people with access to safe water and 67 000 people with access to improved sanitation since 2008
  • delivering sexual and reproductive health sessions to almost 62 000 people, with 43 000 people electing to also receive clinical services.

We have been promoting opportunities for all by:

  • helping enrol 35 000 more children into primary schools since 2008
  • assisting the Government of Timor-Leste to build or repair about 2100 classrooms since 2008
  • awarding 66 Australia Awards Scholarships for tertiary study in Australia (around half of these were to women)
  • supporting around 8000 people, most of them young men and women, to participate in skills development programs to help them get jobs since 2010.

We have been encouraging sustainable economic development by:

  • helping 35 500 farming families be more productive by using improved crop varieties, with increased yields of between 20 and 140 per cent.

We have been promoting effective governance by:

  • strengthening the capacity of public servants to perform effectively including through leadership and administration training for 1144 public servants
  • assisting the government to appraise 114 major infrastructure projects and to assess their feasibility and economic growth potential. For the first time, the assessments were considered in preparing the 2012 budget
  • supporting the Ministry of Finance to improve its systems for spending so that more than 90 per cent of Timor-Leste's budget was spent in 2011, compared with only 49 per cent in 2006–07.

Cambodia

Cambodia Millennium Development Goals scorecard—Millennium Development Goal 1 tick, Millennium Development Goal 2 tick, Millennium Development Goal 3 tick, Millennium Development Goal 4 tick, Millennium Development Goal 5 tick, Millennium Development Goal 6 tick, Millennium Development Goal 7 cross.

Key statistics

Progress towards the Millennium Development Goals49

Population
14.86 million
Income level50
Low income
Gross domestic product per capita (PPP)51
USD2494
Human Development Index rank
138 of 186
Australian ODA as a percentage of total ODA
7.6% (2009)   7% (2010)   8.2% (2011)

In 2012–13, Australia's country program aid to Cambodia totalled $49.7 million. Other assistance through Australia's regional and global programs and through other government agencies brought Australia's total official development assistance (ODA) to an estimated $84 million. Australia is the third largest bilateral aid donor to Cambodia.

Cambodia's economy has grown strongly at an average 7.8 per cent each year since 1994. The growth rate dipped slightly after the global financial crisis, but is now forecast to increase steadily to 7.5 per cent over the next five years due to strong growth in construction and tourism, and more moderate growth in agriculture and garment manufacturing. If this trend continues, Cambodia could graduate to middle income status within a decade. Despite this, Cambodia remains one of the poorest countries in the region, with almost three million people (20.5 per cent of the population) living in poverty and a further four million people living just above the poverty line and vulnerable.

Australian aid will help Cambodia's poorest people benefit from the country's strong economic growth. It is guided by Australia's Strategic Approach to Aid in Cambodia (2010–2015) and targets areas in which Australia can make the greatest impact. Australia's objectives are aligned with Cambodia's National Strategic Development Plan. We are working with a range of partners, particularly the Cambodian Government, multilateral organisations and civil society organisations, to achieve Cambodia's development objectives.

The Cambodian and Australian governments have prioritised Australian aid to the following sectors:

  • agriculture and rural development, to reduce rural poverty
  • health, to save lives
  • infrastructure, to stimulate sustainable economic development
  • law and justice, for effective governance.

Our support for these sectors seeks to balance sustainable strengthening of government systems with more immediate and practical service delivery. Inclusive development, particularly for women and people with disability, is pursued across all four priority sectors.

Health is the flagship investment for the Cambodia program. Our goal is to help save lives by supporting access to quality health services. Funding for the second Health Sector Support Program, in collaboration with the World Bank and other partners, enables health centres and hospitals to provide ongoing quality health care for the poor.

All current Australian aid infrastructure investments in Cambodia are delivered in partnership with the Asian Development Bank. In 2012–13, road maintenance continued and repairs have progressed on roads, bridges and other infrastructure damaged by the floods in late 2011. Rehabilitation of the Cambodian Railway southern line, between the seaport of Sihanoukville and the capital Phnom Penh, is almost complete and freight trains are now running. Resettlement of people affected by the railway is a sensitive issue. AusAID has supported affected families by investing an additional $2 million in low interest loans, emergency grants, financial management training, and building community centres at relocation sites.

In 2012–13, approximately 13.8 square kilometres of land was cleared and more than 6000 items of unexploded ordnance were located and destroyed. Casualties decreased by 45 per cent from 100 in 2011 to 55 in 2012.

Working closely with the Cambodian Government and a range of development partners, Australia has been able to make a real difference to the lives of Cambodians in 2012–13.

We have been saving lives by:

  • ensuring more than 74 per cent of births were attended by a trained health professional
  • supporting development of health facilities and helping to reduce the rate of maternal mortality. The proportion of women giving birth in health facilities rose from 22 per cent to 54 per cent between 2005 and 2010 while maternal mortality decreased from 472 deaths to 206 deaths per 100 000 live births.

We have been promoting opportunities for all by:

  • helping improve conditions for approximately 19 000 Cambodians with disability through access to disability services
  • supporting the Cambodian Government to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and develop legislation to protect the rights of Cambodians with disability
  • awarding 112 Australia Awards Scholarships to Cambodians to support a well-educated workforce.

We have been encouraging sustainable economic development by:

  • maintaining more than 300 kilometres of roads during the year and making emergency repairs to flood damaged roads, bridges, dykes and irrigation schemes
  • supporting construction of the Cambodia Railway southern line, which is nearly completed. Freight trains running twice daily between the sea port of Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh are helping to reduce the cost of doing business in Cambodia and reducing the road toll with fewer heavy vehicles using the roads
  • increasing the value of agricultural production and reducing rural poverty by expanding irrigation systems and providing farmers with access to quality seeds, fertilisers and training.

Myanmar

Myanmar Millennium Development Goals scorecard—Millennium Development Goal 1 dash, Millennium Development Goal 2 cross, Millennium Development Goal 3 dash, Millennium Development Goal 4 cross, Millennium Development Goal 5 cross, Millennium Development Goal 6 dash, Millennium Development Goal 7 tick.

Key statistics

Progress towards the Millennium Development Goals52

Population
52.8 million
Income level53
Low income
Gross domestic product per capita (PPP)54
Not available
Human Development Index rank
149 of 186
Australian ODA as a percentage of total ODA
5.1% (2009)   11.6% (2010)   11.6% (2011)

In 2012–13, Australia's country program aid to Myanmar totalled $58.5 million. Other assistance through Australia's regional and global programs and through other government agencies brought Australia's total official development assistance (ODA) to an estimated $64.2 million. Australia remains one of the largest bilateral aid donors to Myanmar.

The past year has seen the Myanmar Government continue important political and economic reforms, introducing greater freedom of the press and rights to peaceful assembly, moving to privatise the telecommunications network, increasing mobile phone coverage and, for the first time, publicly debating the national budget in Parliament. While public investment remains very low by global standards, the Myanmar Government doubled its budget for education in 2012–13 to around 1.7 per cent of gross domestic product,55 and delivered a four-fold increase in the health budget to 0.76 per cent of gross domestic product.56

Despite these positive changes, development needs in Myanmar remain critical, particularly in regions affected by conflict. Myanmar still has the lowest development indicators in South-East Asia with an estimated one-quarter of its population living in poverty and this figure rising to 73 per cent in some minority ethnic areas. Progress in some of the poorest regions—such as Rakhine State—continues to be hampered by conflict.

Consistent with the Australia–Myanmar Aid Program Strategy 2012–2014, Australia continued to increase support for people's basic needs, particularly in education and health. Assistance was also expanded to include governance activities and to support the peace process. A major milestone in Australia–Myanmar relations was achieved in January 2013 when Australia became the first western donor to sign a memorandum of understanding on development assistance. This historic agreement allows closer cooperation and joint identification of development priorities and provides scope to work more closely to strengthen government institutions to deliver essential services. On 29 January 2013, AusAID also opened a joint liaison office with the United Kingdom in Myanmar's capital city Nay Pyi Taw to allow more effective engagement with the Myanmar Government.

The Myanmar–Australia Partnership for Reform was launched in March 2013 during Myanmar President Thein Sein's inaugural visit to Australia. The partnership will help strengthen parliamentary and electoral systems, promote human rights, and improve economic management and law and justice. Australia is assisting Myanmar to improve the governance of its extractives sector, including through support for implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. Australia will provide assistance for reforms to Myanmar's regulatory framework for mining activities and, in line with the priorities of the Myanmar Government, is looking to undertake analytical work that examines the needs of Myanmar's mining sector to inform future support.

Australia is also helping Myanmar's Ministry of Finance and Revenue and the World Bank to review Myanmar's budget performance. This will help the government improve the quality of its public spending in sectors such as education, health and energy.

Australia remains a leading donor in the field of education and is supporting the first comprehensive education sector review. Through the review, the Myanmar Government will prioritise the most urgent education needs and plan an effective, costed strategy so all people in Myanmar can have access to a quality education. Australia helped meet immediate needs by providing children with learning kits so they could attend school. We worked to improve the quality of education by training teachers and school administrators. Education for girls has also been made more accessible with Australia's assistance focusing on gender-sensitive teaching and providing a safe school environment.

Support for maternal and child health is the area of greatest need in Myanmar's health system. Australia has prioritised support to this area and has assisted women to access antenatal care, and improved access to midwives and emergency health services. Australia also provided children with life-saving immunisations through our HIV, tuberculosis and malaria interventions and has helped the Myanmar Government provide equitable and affordable health services for the most vulnerable populations.

The agriculture and rural development sector has also begun to reform. Australia's support through the multi-donor Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund has now helped some 1.8 million poor and vulnerable people in Myanmar improve agricultural production and increase income. Australia also supported the development of appropriate laws, policies, systems and practices to help guarantee women's economic rights and equal work opportunities.

Our peace and humanitarian portfolio expanded rapidly in response to the emerging peace process and the humanitarian needs in Myanmar and on the Thai–Myanmar border. Australia has supported ongoing peace negotiations to improve the likelihood of a lasting peace agreement. Australia is one of the largest donors responding to the conflict in Rakhine State. We have provided almost $9 million in humanitarian support including food, clean water and emergency shelter to more than 140 000 people affected by this emergency. Australia continues to provide humanitarian support to the 130 000 refugees on the Thai–Myanmar border and to more than 100 000 people displaced by conflict in Kachin State.

Australia renewed its support to the United Nations Children's Fund for child protection activities in Myanmar. Since 2012, 66 child soldiers have been released, and human rights and humanitarian law training has been incorporated into the Myanmar armed forces training curriculum.

Australia Awards to Myanmar grew from 30 in 2012 to 49 in 2013. The Australia Awards build important skills and expertise for the next generation of Myanmar's leaders in fields of study including education, health, disability and governance. In 2012–13, 10 new Australian Volunteers for International Development assignments were created to support the education and health sectors in Myanmar, as well as the peace process and aid coordination.

Working closely with other development partners and in consultation with the Myanmar Government, Australia has been able to make a real difference to the lives of Myanmar people in 2012–13.

We have been saving lives by:

  • increasing access to basic health services including antenatal care, emergency obstetric care and immunisations for poor women and children. During the year, 10 129 children received vital immunisations for key communicable diseases and an additional 5725 births were attended by a skilled health professional.

We have been promoting opportunities for all by:

  • delivering 320 519 kits containing essential school supplies such as textbooks, and providing food to 35 106 children. These initiatives have led to an increase in school enrolments by an additional 10 004 children
  • providing 49 Australia Awards for students to study at tertiary institutions.

We have been encouraging sustainable economic development by:

  • supporting increased food production and incomes of 14 490 farmers and rural households
  • providing 6315 poor women and men from farming households with training and access to agricultural inputs to improve their yields. Farmers have shared newly developed expertise with neighbouring villages.

We have been promoting effective governance by:

  • supporting Myanmar's accession to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative
  • training 476 public servants in human rights
  • improving Myanmar's public financial management with support for a public expenditure review and a financial sector development plan.

We have been preparing for and responding to humanitarian emergencies and disasters by:

  • providing life-saving assistance such as food, shelter and clean water to 242 570 conflict and disaster-affected people in Myanmar and refugees in Thailand.

Laos

Laos Millennium Development Goals scorecard—Millennium Development Goal 1 cross, Millennium Development Goal 2 cross, Millennium Development Goal 3 cross, Millennium Development Goal 4 tick, Millennium Development Goal 5 cross, Millennium Development Goal 6 cross, Millennium Development Goal 7 cross.

Key statistics

Progress towards the Millennium Development Goals58

Population
6.646 million
Income level59
Lower middle income
Gross domestic product per capita (PPP)60
USD2926
Human Development Index rank
138 of 186
Australian ODA as a percentage of total ODA
8% (2009)   7.3% (2010)   12.1% (2011)

In 2012–13, Australia's country program aid to Laos totalled $34.7 million. Other Australian assistance through Australia's regional and global programs and through other government agencies brought Australia's total official development assistance (ODA) to an estimated $55.9 million. Australia is the largest bilateral aid donor to Laos.

Lao economy continues to grow strongly with real gross domestic product growth at 8.2 per cent in 2012. Growth has been driven in recent years by a booming resources sector although the non-resources sector continues to increase in economic importance. Benefits of this growth continue to be unequally distributed. Ethnic minorities living in remote and upland rural areas are much more likely to be living in poverty than urban and low-land dwellers. The poverty rate in rural areas is 32 per cent, compared to 17 per cent in urban areas.61

Australian aid to Laos is guided by the Australia Laos Development Cooperation Strategy (2009–2015). Australia works with a range of partners to achieve the strategy objectives, including the Lao Government, multilateral aid agencies such as the World Bank, other donors and civil society.

Australian aid focuses on:

  • education—ensuring all children complete a full course of quality basic education
  • trade—supporting inclusive growth through trade and investment reform
  • rural development—reducing poverty in rural areas through sustainable livelihoods and access to rural infrastructure.

Net primary school enrolments are on track to meet the Millennium Development Goal 2 target. However primary school retention rates are lagging with many children dropping out of school before they complete a full five years of primary education. Australian aid is helping to increase the number of rural ethnic minority girls who complete a full five years of primary education. Australia is working with the government to improve school infrastructure by providing additional classrooms so schools can effectively accommodate five grades of primary school and by building ablution and toilet blocks to provide a safer learning environment.

The pursuit of broad-based growth that benefits more of Lao population is a central goal of the Lao Government's development strategy. The Lao Government has had some success, making it easier for the private sector to trade and invest to create growth and employment in the past year. Australia is working with the government to improve the trading and investment environment and our engagement in this area was instrumental in supporting Lao World Trade Organization accession.

Rural development in Laos has experienced mixed results. Laos is on track to meet its Millennium Development Goal poverty reduction target, however there are large variations in poverty rates across the country. Laos will struggle to meet Millennium Development Goal targets related to stunted and underweight children. Unexploded ordnance contamination in Laos is a major problem, with an estimated half of potential agricultural land contaminated.

Australia partners with international non-government organisations to support activities that lift the standard of living of poor rural communities throughout the country. Australia, in partnership with the World Bank, has provided access to electricity for thousands of rural households. Australian aid has helped clear unexploded ordnance from contaminated land and helped to educate vulnerable communities about the risks of unexploded ordnance.

Working closely with the Lao Government and a range of development partners, Australia has been able to make a real difference to the lives of Lao people in 2012–13.

We have been promoting opportunities for all by:

  • working with the Ministry of Education and Sport to train 3873 teachers and 1064 school officials, and helping lift teaching quality and primary school attendance
  • providing 69 Australia Awards, of which women received 32 awards. In addition 70 in-country tertiary scholarships were awarded to students from disadvantaged backgrounds to study at a Lao university
  • constructing water supply and sanitation facilities in more than 300 schools, providing a healthier environment for primary school children.

We have been promoting sustainable economic development by:

  • working with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Health on trade-related legal and regulatory reform focusing on sanitary and phytosanitary (animal and plant health and food safety) measures. These reforms will help protect against health risks and facilitate trade by providing a clear and predictable legal framework for the private sector
  • working with international non-government organisations to improve the standard of living for about 400 rural households through livelihood strengthening activities
  • working with key agencies to clear unexploded ordnance from 44 hectares of agricultural land benefiting 2804 people and contributing to falling unexploded ordnance accident rates
  • working with the World Bank and Switzerland to improve access for poor rural communities to essential infrastructure, including constructing 58 kilometres of rural roads.

Mekong Water Resources Program

In 2012–13, Australia provided $4.5 million to improve water resources management in the Mekong region.

Sustainable management of water resources is critical for poverty alleviation, food security and the economic development of the 330 million people living in the Greater Mekong Subregion, which covers Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and parts of southern China.

The Australian Mekong Water Resources Program is strengthening institutions in the region and supporting transparent and informed decision-making on how transboundary water resources are used and shared. Australia delivers the program in partnership with the Mekong River Commission, Mekong governments, other bilateral and multilateral donors, civil society organisations and the private sector.

During 2012–13, Australia helped the Lao and Cambodian governments progress new water resources policies, regulations and institutional reforms. Australia continued to build water resources management skills of government and non-government professionals across the region, through targeted fellowships, study visits and technical assistance. By funding research, Australia has improved understanding of the social and environmental impacts of hydropower and other major developments.

Australia continued its support for the Mekong River Commission-led consultation process on the Xayaburi Hydropower Dam in Laos, the first dam planned for the Mekong River mainstream south of China. While the consultation process highlighted long standing differences between Mekong countries on Mekong River Commission procedures for new dam developments along the Mekong, it resulted in major improvements to the dam's design and operation, and fewer anticipated downstream impacts.

Working closely with Mekong governments and a range of development partners, Australia has been able to make a real difference to the lives of people in the region.

We have been encouraging sustainable economic development by:

  • helping the Lao Government develop and implement its new national water resources policy and strategy, which will guide future planning and investment
  • training 1498 public servants (including 481 women) from the Mekong River Commission Secretariat and member countries—Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam—to build professional and technical skills in areas such as water law, conflict resolution and procurement
  • supporting a study visit to Australia for 14 professionals from the Mekong River Commission Secretariat and member countries to meet with government, industry and community representatives in the Murray-Darling Basin, and to exchange experiences in river basin management.

Mongolia

Mongolia Millennium Development Goals scorecard—Millennium Development Goal 1 cross, Millennium Development Goal 2 tick, Millennium Development Goal 3 tick, Millennium Development Goal 4 tick, Millennium Development Goal 5 tick, Millennium Development Goal 6 tick, Millennium Development Goal 7 cross.

Key statistics

Progress towards the Millennium Development Goals62

Population
2.796 million
Income level
Lower middle income
Gross domestic product per capita (PPP)63
USD5462
Human Development Index rank
108 of 186
Australian ODA as a percentage of total ODA
2.5% (2009)   2% (2010)   1.9% (2011)

In 2012–13, Australia's country program aid to Mongolia totalled $6.3 million. Other assistance through Australia's regional and global programs and through other government agencies brought Australia's total official development assistance (ODA) to an estimated $14.6 million. Australia is the sixth largest bilateral aid donor to Mongolia but one of the largest grant donors.

In 2012 Mongolia had one of the world's fastest growing economies, driven by the mining sector and associated foreign investment, which has raised it to the status of a lower middle income country. However inequality has widened in recent years. Mongolia's poverty rate remains high—39 per cent of the population (approximately one million people) have an income below the national minimum living standard, rising to 54 per cent of the population (approximately 593 000 people) in rural areas.

The Australia–Mongolia Program Strategy 2012–2016 outlines three priority themes where Australia has expertise and a proven record, in line with the development objectives identified by the Mongolian Government in its Comprehensive National Development Strategy.

  • Human resource development—we will continue to build the human resource and leadership base of Mongolia through Australia Awards to empower individuals working in the public, private and civil society sectors to contribute to the country's development.
  • Mining for development—we will target our assistance toward strengthening governance in the mining sector to help ensure mining revenues are more equitably distributed and the social and environmental impacts of mining are effectively managed. Australia is partnering with the World Bank to strengthen groundwater management in a key mining area in Mongolia's south.
  • Supporting vulnerable communities—we will focus on providing improved water, sanitation and hygiene facilities to disadvantaged rural children, to prevent illness among students, teachers and the community more broadly. Australia is partnering with the United Nations Children's Fund to improve water and sanitation facilities for 7800 disadvantaged rural children in northwest Mongolia, which will improve health outcomes and school attendance rates. Australia is also working with the United Nations Development Programme to increase access to better sources of drinking water and better sanitation facilities in western and southern Mongolia.

Working closely with the Mongolian Government and a range of development partners, Australia has been able to make a real difference to the lives of Mongolians in 2012–13.

We have been promoting opportunities for all by:

  • awarding tertiary scholarships, including Australia Awards Fellowships to 81 Mongolians. More than 70 per cent of the award recipients were women and five were studying mining. Two current members of the Mongolian Parliament and two current state secretaries are Australia Awards alumni.

We have been encouraging sustainable economic development by:

  • supporting local authorities to manage groundwater resources in the southern Gobi region, a key mining area that is also home to communities of pastoral nomads.

We have been promoting effective governance by:

  • supporting four civil society organisations—Responsible Mining Institute, World Vision, Women's Association and Elderly Association—to track the provision of services, address the social impacts of mining and meet water, sanitation and hygiene needs in southern, western and northwestern Mongolia.

We have been preparing for and responding to humanitarian emergencies and disasters by:

  • assessing crisis management procedures in 42 schools in Ulaanbaatar to improve student safety, including through improved evacuation plans.

China

The Australian Government announced in 2011 that bilateral aid to China would be phased out. In 2012–13, Australia's country program aid to China reduced to $2.1 million.

Australia's support to China in 2012–13 focused on:

  • finalising our existing health and environment programs
  • supporting Australian volunteers to complete their placements
  • supporting Chinese Australia Awards recipients to complete their studies in Australia.

Targeted support through regional programs in East Asia will continue for projects such as health systems strengthening in Tibet and a human rights technical cooperation program.

Australia and China signed a development cooperation partnership memorandum of understanding in Beijing on 9 April 2013. This is enabling Australia to work with China as a donor, rather than an aid recipient, in the Asia–Pacific. The partnership is supported by regular high level dialogue through a working group being developed with guidance from the existing Australia China bilateral Joint Ministerial Economic Commission.

Initial collaborative pilot projects under the partnership will target regional health (malaria and HIV) and water resource management in the Asia–Pacific. The first cooperative project is exploring ways in which trilateral cooperation can strengthen malaria control in Papua New Guinea. The second pilot, due to commence in the second half of 2013, will target water resource management in Cambodia. Collaboration on HIV in the Mekong region is also being explored.

East Asia regional program

In 2012–13, Australia's East Asia regional aid program totalled $68.7 million. Economic growth increased in developing East Asian economies in 2012–13, but at different rates across the region. Complex development and transboundary challenges have emerged which may require regional responses. These challenges include growing numbers of trafficked people, high instances of exploitative labour conditions, the spread of communicable diseases and potential pandemics, and the increasing challenge of natural disasters.

East Asia regional programs aim to address three objectives:

  • improving capacity of regional organisations to address development challenges
  • promoting and managing economic integration
  • addressing priority transboundary issues.

Australia continues to work with regional organisations, including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Asia–Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), to improve their capacity to achieve a strong and interconnected East Asia region. United Nations agencies, including the International Labour Organization, remain our partners in addressing some of the key human security challenges.

Encouraging sustainable economic development through economic programs

In 2012–13, Australia provided $14.4 million to support regional economic integration.

Through 21 new activities, Australia supported the ASEAN–Australia Development Cooperation Program Phase II to help implement the goal of an ASEAN economic community by 2015. These activities included technical assistance to support implementation of the master plan on ASEAN connectivity and tools to improve awareness of the benefits of the ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement.

Our funding for the ASEAN–Australia–New Zealand Free Trade Agreement Economic Co-operation Work Programme included support for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development investment policy reviews of Malaysia, Myanmar and the Philippines. These reviews will provide recommendations and build support for investment reforms with potential national benefits of increased competitiveness and reduced barriers to trade and economic integration.

We assisted APEC developing economy members to identify and implement reforms to domestic policies and institutions that hinder the operation of markets and businesses. These structural reforms will help economies to work more productively, increase economic development and provide more opportunities for poor people.

Australia provided $3.25 million in 2012–13 so Australian Government departments and public universities could engage with their counterparts in developing APEC economies on a range of trade and economic integration issues.

Australia provided $3.5 million in the Mekong region to combat transboundary animal diseases that adversely impact vulnerable rural communities, livelihoods and food security. Foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks—endemic in mainland South-East Asia—are a serious national biosecurity concern for Australia. Australia has been working with the World Organisation for Animal Health and the livestock ministries of partner governments since 1997 to coordinate South East Asian regional efforts to eradicate this disease by 2020.

Key development achievements in 2012–13 included:

  • supporting the ASEAN Secretariat to adopt financial management practice in line with the International Public Sector Accounting Standards and improving monitoring and reporting on ASEAN Economic Community progress. This work is being completed in partnership with the World Bank and with assistance from other ASEAN dialogue partners
  • promoting cross-sectoral cooperation across the ASEAN Economic Community by supporting the ASEAN qualification reference framework taskforce trade in education services
  • training more than 600 district and provincial veterinarians and village animal health workers in Laos in foot-and-mouth disease vaccination and surveillance, reaching more than 18 000 farmers at the village level, including more than 10 000 women
  • supporting national and sector-wide assessments of veterinary services which has led to countries allocating more resources to respond to livestock diseases.

A large group of male and female farmers sit in a circle on a woven mat. They animatedly talk and review charts and papers, which rest on a low table in the centre.

Caption: Farmers discuss foot-and-mouth disease control in Sagaing, Myanmar. The community meeting was organised by the World Organisation for Animal Health through the AusAID funded Stop Transboundary Animal Disease and Zoonoses Initiative. These community meetings address farmers' views on foot-and-mouth disease, local practices to treat the disease, and the lack of general awareness that the disease can be prevented through livestock vaccination

Credit: Courtesy of Mary Joy Gordoncillo, World Organisation for Animal Health Sub-Regional Representation Office in South-East Asia

 

Promoting effective governance to deliver better regional human security

Australia's East Asia regional program provided $8 million in 2012–13 to address transboundary issues such as human trafficking, labour exploitation and the sexual exploitation of children in tourism.

The recently completed Asia Regional Trafficking in Persons project improved the prosecution and conviction rates in human trafficking cases across seven ASEAN partner countries. Between January 2011 and April 2013 investigators and police trained by the project investigated 1522 trafficking cases, prosecuted 1027 cases and supported 3961 victims (875 men and 3086 women) through the legal process.

Through the Tripartite Action to Protect Migrant Workers from Labour Exploitation (TRIANGLE) project (2010–2015), AusAID supports the International Labour Organization to promote legal and safe migration in the Greater Mekong Subregion.

Project Childhood is a $7.5 million program (2010–2014) to combat child sexual exploitation in tourism in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. Through World Vision, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and INTERPOL, Project Childhood helps develop national prevention measures, increase the skills of law enforcement officials, and builds awareness among tourism operators and communities to help prevent child sexual exploitation.

With USAID, AusAID co-funds the Music Television End Exploitation and Trafficking (MTV EXIT) program ($10 million from 2010–2016) to raise awareness, shift attitudes and behaviour and combat human trafficking in Thailand, the Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar. It has reached millions through its televised concerts, on-air community service announcements, advertising and documentaries, online information and social media engagement, youth forums and community-based road shows.

Key development achievements in 2012–13 included:

  • training more than 600 police, judges and prosecutors (23 per cent women) across seven countries on effective identification, management, and prosecution of human trafficking cases
  • providing legal assistance, information, training and counselling on safe migration and rights at work for more than 20 000 migrants (42 per cent women) in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Malaysia between August 2011 and June 2013, and supporting 18 civil society organisations to deliver services to migrant workers
  • reaching more than 200 000 people with anti-trafficking messages in Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines, Myanmar and Thailand
  • helping the Thai Government draft a regulation on domestic work to improve conditions and protection for domestic workers (including from neighbouring countries such as Myanmar and Laos)
  • training more than 1000 community leaders and government officials to keep children safe from sexual abuse and providing counselling to more than 6000 vulnerable children in Cambodia.

Saving lives through regional health programs

In 2012–13, Australia's regional health programs provided $5.14 million to strengthen country responses to public health issues such as HIV/AIDS and pandemic threats.

HIV transmission to people who inject drugs is increased through sharing needles. Saving the lives of this marginalised population is challenging as they are confronted with discrimination, lack of access to HIV harm reduction services, and are frequently detained by law enforcement officials. Australia is supporting countries to implement evidence and rights-based policies to meet the United Nations 2015 global target of reducing HIV transmission among people who inject drugs by 50 per cent.

Community level biosecurity and hygienic practices are critical in preventing the spread of emerging infectious diseases. The outbreaks and deaths from H7N9 avian influenza in China in 2013 highlighted the recurring global public health threat from a future pandemic. Amidst this threat, countries like Cambodia continue to grapple with the existing H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza. In 2013, Cambodia experienced its worst outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza with 13 new human cases (nine deaths) out of the 34 total human cases (28 deaths) since 2004.

Australia's regional health programs worked closely with partner governments and a range of development partners in the Greater Mekong Subregion countries of China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

Key development achievements in 2012–13 included:

  • providing HIV harm reduction services to 41 415 intravenous drug users, distributing more than 1.6 million condoms, more than 6.5 million needles and syringes, and more than two million sterile water vials under the HIV/AIDS Asia Regional Program
  • supporting the transition of Mekong countries from compulsory drug detention centres to more effective voluntary community treatment for drug users
  • training more than 550 provincial, district, and community frontline health workers in Cambodia in early detection and response to H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza.

Humanitarian and disaster response

In 2012–13 Australia continued to support regional coordination to reduce the risk of disasters. Disasters can negatively affect the region's economic growth and poverty reduction unless measures are put in place to reduce disaster risk and improve preparedness.

Key development achievements in 2012–13 included:

  • supporting staffing and operational costs to establish the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management, which undertakes operational coordination of regional disaster management.

37 This is a multifactorial United Nations classification comprising components including education, gross national income per capita, agricultural dependency, nutrition, population, trade and infant mortality. The full list is at www.un.org/en/development/desa/policy/cdp/ldc/ldc_definitions.shtml

38 In 2010, the latest year for which comprehensive statistics were available, there were 441.5 million people in Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines, Timor-Leste and Vietnam. Of these, 193.3 million lived on less than USD2 a day (around 43.8 per cent). Internationally comparable poverty statistics are not available for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Mongolia and Myanmar. It is likely that poverty rates in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Myanmar are far higher than the East Asia average, with the population of these countries in 2010 estimated at around 72 million based on United Nations population estimates. Data obtained from World Bank, PovcalNet: the online tool for poverty measurement developed by the Development Research Group of the World Bank, viewed 15 January 2013, http://iresearch.worldbank.org/PovcalNet/index.htm

39 Figure for Timor-Leste is based on 57.7 per cent of malnourished children based on their height for age for 2009 from the World Bank's World Development Indicators (2012). Figure for Cambodia is based on 19.4 per cent of children aged seven to14 being illiterate in 2008 and from Cambodia's National Institute of Statistics' Labour and Social Trends Cambodia 2010 (2010, page 10).

40 Progress towards the 2015 Millennium Development Goal targets is indicated by a tick (already achieved or on track), a cross (slow, regressing or no progress), or a dash (insufficient data to assess).

41 Gross domestic product per capita (purchasing power parity) is gross domestic product converted to international dollars using purchasing power parity rates.

42 Progress towards the 2015 Millennium Development Goal targets is indicated by a tick (already achieved or on track), a cross (slow, regressing or no progress), or a dash (insufficient data to assess).

43 Gross domestic product per capita (purchasing power parity) is gross domestic product converted to international dollars using purchasing power parity rates.

44 Progress towards the 2015 Millennium Development Goal targets is indicated by a tick (already achieved or on track), a cross (slow, regressing or no progress), or a dash (insufficient data to assess).

45 Gross domestic product per capita (purchasing power parity) is gross domestic product converted to international dollars using purchasing power parity rates.

46 Progress towards the 2015 Millennium Development Goal targets is indicated by a tick (already achieved or on track), a cross (slow, regressing or no progress), or a dash (insufficient data to assess).

47 Timor-Leste is also categorised as a least developed country, as defined by the United Nations.

48 Gross domestic product per capita (purchasing power parity) is gross domestic product converted to international dollars using purchasing power parity rates.

49 Progress towards the 2015 Millennium Development Goal targets is indicated by a tick (already achieved or on track), a cross (slow, regressing or no progress), or a dash (insufficient data to assess).

50 Cambodia is also categorised as a least developed country, as defined by the United Nations.

51 Gross domestic product per capita (purchasing power parity) is gross domestic product converted to international dollars using purchasing power parity rates.

52 Progress towards the 2015 Millennium Development Goal targets is indicated by a tick (already achieved or on track), a cross (slow, regressing or no progress), or a dash (insufficient data to assess).

53 Myanmar is also categorised as a least developed country, as defined by the United Nations.

54 Gross domestic product per capita (purchasing power parity) is gross domestic product converted to international dollars using purchasing power parity rates.

55 AusAID and World Bank, Rapid assessment of financing the education sector in Myanmar, January 2013.

56 Quoted during the Social Protection Conference, 25–26 June 2012, Nay Pyi Taw.

58 Progress towards the 2015 Millennium Development Goal targets is indicated by a tick (already achieved or on track), a cross (slow, regressing or no progress), or a dash (insufficient data to assess).

59 Laos is also categorised as a least developed country, as defined by the United Nations.

60 Gross domestic product per capita (purchasing power parity) is gross domestic product converted to international dollars using purchasing power parity rates.

61 Lao Ministry of Planning and Investment (2010) expenditure and consumption survey 1992–2003 2007–08: Poverty in Laos 2008, Department of Statistics.

62 Progress towards the 2015 Millennium Development Goal targets is indicated by a tick (already achieved or on track), a cross (slow, regressing or no progress), or a dash (insufficient data to assess).

63 Gross domestic product per capita (purchasing power parity) is gross domestic product converted to international dollars using purchasing power parity rates.