Australia will provide post-COVID-19 financing to Southeast Asian countries
The hundred million AUD grant package will focus on countries along the 4,900 km Mekong River, including Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, the sources said.
|This post-COVID-19 financing package will include measures to respond to severe drought in the lower Mekong countries.|
Australian media on 12/10 revealed that the government is preparing a sponsorship package of hundreds of millions of AUD for Southeast Asian countries to help boost their economies.
Many senior sources from the federal government and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have confirmed that a funding package worth hundreds of millions of AUD for Southeast Asia over the next four years is being completed. The federal government will make a final decision on the value and scope of the funding package over the next few months.
This post-COVID-19 funding package will include responses to severe drought in the lower Mekong countries last year, due to dam construction upstream.
The source said the package will focus on a number of countries along the 4,900 km long Mekong River.
A US government-sponsored report by Eyes on Earth Research Company earlier this year suggested that upstream dams are holding back large amounts of the Mekong’s water, exacerbating the drought.
Australia’s aid to Southeast Asia and East Asia has decreased by AUD 384.7 million, or 29.8%, over the past five years.
Meanwhile, according to a Brookings Institution report this year, China has overtaken Australia and the US in infrastructure financing in Southeast Asia.
From 2008 to 2016, China made many financial commitments equivalent to AUD 42 billion for infrastructure projects in the region, compared with AUD 1 billion for the US and 1.8 billion AUD for Australia.