The Australian Embassy has demonstrated its continued commitment to small-scale community
development projects in Cambodia.
A grant of $27,000 was announced on February 9 to support community development projects
under its Direct Aid Program (DAP). Karen Lanyon Deputy Head of Mission said the
Embassy encourages NGOs and community groups to approach the embassy about what they
need and take advantage of the programs.
NGOs and community groups can apply for a grant under DAP for amounts up to $6000
to support activities over a 12 month period. Activities in which the beneficiaries
and/or NGO make a significant contribution in terms of labour, material and funds
will be particularly well received.
Lanyon is enthusiastic about the potential of these programs to give disadvantaged
people options to build a better future. "Because they are small scale, flexible
and focused we can make a real difference to communities around the country, especially
communities at risk," she said. "It's all about giving people alternatives
DAP funding has helped a variety of communities at risk, including providing safe
drinking water in Takeo, assistance to trafficked children in Battambang, vocational
training for women and teenagers on the streets of Kampong Speu and Kandal and assistance
to AIDS treatment centres and Hospitals in Phnom Penh and Kep.
The embassy has already funded 11 community development projects worth $60,000 during
2003-04 under DAP and plans to continue small-scale grants in 2004-05. Although the
grants make a big difference to small communities, they represent just a tiny portion
of the $US44.4 million Australian aid budget in Cambodia.