Australia will support 6 new community small grants projects in 2019 focussed on protecting victims of trafficking, increasing income for traditional female weavers, preventing gender based violence, and increasing access to menstrual products and hygiene education for young rural girls.
The Australian Government will also step up its humanitarian funding through the deployment of an expert to UNICEF to address chronic development needs particularly in childhood malnutrition.
This follows the Australian Government providing AUD3.6million to the World Food Programme (2018-19) for emergency relief to the vulnerable regions in southern Madagascar.
These announcements were made by Australia’s Ambassador to Madagascar Ms Jenny Dee during a visit to Antananarivo this week where she met with the Malagasy Government to reaffirm Australia’s support to deepening relations with Madagascar and working together on issues of mutual interest in regional and multilateral fora.
“As a committed partner in the Indian Ocean, Australia looks forward to working with the Malagasy Government to promote peace and prosperity in the region and progress common priorities across maritime security, development of the blue economy, and women’s economic empowerment, including in regional fora like the Indian Ocean Rim Association,” Ambassador Dee said.
Australia’s leading scientific and research organisation, CSIRO, conducted an IORA workshop in Tulear last month (29 April–4 May) on blue carbon with plans to deepen collaboration between CSIRO and the Maritime Institute of the Toliara University.
Australia is also an active member of the Combined Maritime Forces with Australian naval assets playing a role to combat piracy, drug trafficking and counter terrorism in the Middle East and Indian Ocean region.
Ambassador Dee reiterated Australia’s commitment to supporting Madagascar’s development priorities through multilateral institutions and Australian capacity building programs in key economic sectors, recognising Australia has developed strong partnerships with stakeholders in the mining sector in Madagascar given Australia’s long mining history, good reputation and proven expertise including cutting-edge technologies, responsible business practices and high-quality operational standards.
“Since 2012, over 130 Malagasy professionals have received Australia Awards scholarships in public policy, extractives and agriculture with a strong focus on good governance,” Ambassador Dee said.
“We are proud of the role these alumni are playing to the sustainable development of Madagascar in priority sectors for the Government,” she said.
“At a local level, our community small-grants program is also focused on supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals and over the past two years, we have supported over a dozen projects covering areas such as disease prevention, improving access to education for disabled children, supporting women’s economic empowerment, reducing logging in protected forests, electoral support for CENI and an on-line Human Rights training program.”
During the 4-day visit, Ambassador Dee inaugurated the newly renovated orthopaedic and traumatology wing at the CENHOSOA hospital funded through the Australian Embassy’s Direct Aid Program (DAP) and supported by the Australian NGO Australian Doctors for Africa (ADFA) who conduct approximately four medical visits to Madagascar each year aimed at empowering Malagasy through access to quality healthcare.
She also met with beneficiaries of the Australian DAP-funded human rights project implemented by the International Migration Organisation to support women and girls who have been victims of human trafficking, as well as other development partners.
The Australian Government is also supporting Transparency International Australia’s Mining for Sustainable Development Program (M4SD) to address corruption risks in mining licensing, in collaboration with government, civil society, local communities and the mining industry with Transparency International-Madagascar launching the program in Madagascar in March this year.
List of projects funded under the Australian Embassy's direct assistance program in 2019:
- Mangrove restoration and socio-economic support project through the development of mitigation measures on climate change by the NGO Koloala.
- Human Rights Protection and Economic Empowerment Project for Women Victims of Human Trafficking in Madagascar by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM)
- Project to set up an Endoscopy unit and a training centre in Antananarivo of the Australian NGO Australian Doctors for Africa (ADFA)
- Mahampy Project: Increasing income of traditional weavers through market expansion and sustainable resource management for a group of six villages of the NGO SEED Madagascar.
- Project for the supply of sanitary napkins and hygiene education to girls in rural areas in Madagascar of the NGO Projet Jeune Leader.
- Project to develop a community-based approach to prevent and respond to sexual violence in 3 municipalities in the Androy region of UNFPA.
7 June 2019