Australian Embassy

Development Cooperation

Development Cooperation

Australian Government Aid Program – Southeast Asia Regional Hub

The Southeast Asia Regional Hub of the Australian Government’s aid program, managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), is located in Bangkok, Thailand.

The purpose of the Australian Government’s aid program is to promote Australia’s national interests through contributing to economic growth and poverty reduction. Australia’s aid funding will expand trade in our region to create jobs, build skills, boost incomes, reduce economic insecurity, and empower women and girls. Australia\'s aid program focuses on the Indo-Pacific region.

At the request of the Royal Thai Government in November 2003, Australia’s development cooperation with Thailand started to reduce from 2004-05 as Thailand transitioned from being an aid recipient to being an aid donor.

While Australia’s bilateral development assistance program with Thailand has ceased, Australia continues to provide scholarships to Thai nationals through the Endeavour Awards program, as well as short-term grant funding to support non-government organisations. Australia, through the Southeast Asia Regional Hub, also collaborates with Thailand in regional efforts to improve responses to shared trans-boundary challenges in East Asia.

East Asia is the fastest growing region in the world and has seen the greatest reductions in poverty in human history. However, despite impressive economic growth, development has been uneven between and within countries. More than 250 million people in East Asia live in extreme poverty on less than US$1.25 a day. In Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar around one quarter to one third of people live in absolute poverty.

Australia and East Asia have a long history of development cooperation. Australia was the Association of South East Asian Nation’s first dialogue partner in 1974 and we continue to support countries in the region to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals. In particular, we give aid to East Asia to promote economic integration through the free flow of goods and services between countries. The aim is to create a better connected East Asia, which in turn creates more economic growth and reduces poverty.

While a better connected East Asia is our goal, Australia also gives aid to address the challenges that come from a more connected region. In particular, we provide aid to combat human trafficking and the spread of infectious diseases.

Human trafficking is a global phenomenon that breaches fundamental human rights. Men, women and children are all vulnerable to human trafficking in East Asia. Australia is working to strengthen the capacity of governments and communities in the region to prevent trafficking, punish perpetrators and support victims.

East Asia continues to suffer from pandemics and outbreaks of infectious diseases. This includes outbreaks of foot and mouth disease and rabies and the spread of HIV. Through our aid, Australia aims to reduce the spread and impacts of these diseases.

More information on Australian Government aid programs delivered through the Southeast Asia Regional Aid Hub can be found via the following links:

Human Security
Connecting the Mekong
Supporting Water Governance in the Greater Mekong Subregion

The Direct Aid Program

The Direct Aid Program (DAP) is a flexible small grants program funded from Australia’s aid program and managed through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s overseas posts. DAP advances developmental outcomes in Official Development Assistance (ODA)-eligible countries with projects primarily focused on practical and tangible results.

For many years, the Direct Aid Program has worked with partner communities from across Thailand to deliver tangible and practical development results.

Further information on eligibility for DAP funding in Thailand and how to apply