Mekong Region

The Mekong River Basin: a nexus of water resource, governance, and development challenges

The Mekong River, with an estimated length of 4,350 km, flows through six countries – China, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam – and supports the livelihoods of an estimated 60 million people. With the intensification of water infrastructure investments, the Mekong region is facing increased threats to regional water, food and energy security, heightened risks of disruption to the rules-based framework in place, unsustainable development, and greater debt and economic dependence by some Mekong countries.

Economic growth, future quality of life and regional stability are strongly linked to the choices made by countries on how to share, develop and manage water to produce food and energy, maintain vital ecosystems and sustain livelihoods.

AWP’s focus on the Mekong region

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Australian Water Partnership (AWP) are continuing Australia’s long support for water issues in the Mekong region through its Core Grant and the new Australia-Mekong Water Facility (AMWF). The AMWF allows AWP to place a strong focus on the Mekong and offers a responsive, nimble and flexible mechanism for Australia to further enhance its existing water-related partnerships with the governments of the region. The Facility runs from March 2019 to June 2023 and will complement, rather than replace, AWP’s past and present engagement in the region funded out of its core grant.

The Australia-Mekong Water Facility

The overall goal of the Facility is to enhance rules-based governance for greater water, food and energy security in the Greater Mekong region. The AMWF builds upon capacity building activities that have been conducted with the Mekong River Commission (MRC), bridging knowledge and experience between Australian Partners and the MRC.

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