Habitat For Humanity Australia


Habitat for Humanity Australia's International Projects


Habitat for Humanity’s work has never been more important. As United Nations data reveals, the world is experiencing a global housing crisis with approximately 1.6 billion people living in substandard housing and 100 million people homeless. Habitat for Humanity Australia, through its overseas aid fund, is working to reduce housing poverty and promote sustainable community development.



Improving shelter security, health and disaster resilience
Long An Province, Southern Vietnam


Vietnam is among the top 10 countries in South East Asia most affected by natural disasters and climate change, with 70% of the population at risk. The impact compounds existing socioeconomic and environmental disadvantages, making the population at risk even more vulnerable. The Long An province is located on an estuary of the Mekong river, which means the people are at greater risk of flooding. Most of the people in this area already live on or below the poverty line.

Over 18-months, Habitat for Humanity Vietnam will work with Habitat for Humanity Australia to assist 170 low-income households. The project will help build disaster-resilient housing, strengthen local access to safe water and sanitation facilities, and carry out health and hygiene education. The project’s overall aim is to increase the capacity and resilience of the community to the effects of natural disaster and climate change.

Healthy Homes Project
Thai Binh, Vietnam


Vietnam’s population is steadily growing, leaving behind 29% of the population who live at or below the national poverty line. Thai Binh is one of the poorest provinces in Vietnam, with 10% of the population living on less than US$20 a month. The Thai Binh area is also subject to severe weather, with disastrous results for the local population.

The houses in Thai Binh are generally constructed of old tiles for the roof and used bricks for walls. The Healthy Homes Project, carried out by Habitat for Humanity Vietnam, with Habitat for Humanity Australia’s support, will focus on providing secure and resilient housing. Inadequate access to water and sanitation facilities will also be addressed as an important measure for reducing illness, and environmental degradation will be a focus of the project by sourcing sustainable resources to build the homes.

Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Promotion (WaSH)


Bangladesh is one of the world's least developed countries, with 63 million people living in poverty. Diarrheal diseases cause the deaths of over 100,000 children each year in Bangladesh – women, the elderly and children are particularly vulnerable. Acknowledging the importance of access to safe water and sanitation facilities, combined with awareness of hygienic practices, Habitat for Humanity Australia’s WaSH project focuses on both access to improved water and sanitation facilities, and enhanced community knowledge of safe and hygienic sanitation practices.

Working with Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh, Phase 1 of the WaSH project involved a community based sanitation and hygiene education program, delivered to over 4800 rural community members to the north of Dhaka. A total 201 sanitation facilities were built by community members accessing short-term loans during this phase.


WaSH phase 2: Ensuring improved health through WaSH promotion and enhanced shelter security
Rural Bangladesh

Following the successful completion of WaSH I, a second phase has been developed to continue supporting rural communities both in the north and south of Bangladesh. WaSH phase II continues to focus on improved health through access to water and sanitation facilities, and enhanced community knowledge of hygienic sanitation practices. Phase II has also expanded to include a dedicated focus on disaster risk reduction through community-based workshops and, with community members accessing low cost loans, the construction of disaster-resilient shelter retrofits within rural communities.  

Strengthening Female Headed Households Project


Female headed households in Nepal are among the poorest and most vulnerable segments of the population. Scraping by on less than US$2 per day, many of these families live in cramped, rudimentary huts with minimal access to clean water and sanitation facilities. In the daily struggle to meet their basic needs, children from these households are likely to forgo educational opportunities to supplement their family income, making them particularly vulnerable to exploitation.

Working through pre-existing village banks, Habitat for Humanity Nepal, with support from HFHA, will assist 250 female headed households in Nepal’s eastern districts of Sunsari, Jhapa and Morang, to access low interest loans for constructing new homes or completing vital repair work. The project will use innovative, eco-friendly bamboo technology, as an environmentally sustainable option which also helps to lower the cost of homes for poor families. Using an integrated approach which includes support for livelihoods development and a public health and hygiene component, the project aims to improve living conditions for female headed households whilst also strengthening the safety nets available for vulnerable members of the community.


West Sumatra Disaster Response Project


On 30 September 2009, a devastating earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale, struck off the coast of Indonesia’s western most province of Sumatra. It claimed the lives of 1,000 people and left a quarter of a million families homeless. The scale of devastation meant scores of families were forced to live in makeshift tents, with a lack of clean water and poor sanitation heightening the risk of communicable disease outbreaks.

In partnership with HFHA, Humanity for Humanity Indonesia will assist 50 families relocate to a new site with secure land tenure and access safe, earthquake resilient housing, with vital water and sanitation facilities. Target families will also benefit from a dedicated training program on construction skills and community water supply maintenance designed to empower survivors to restore their own lives as well as a public and hygiene awareness campaign aimed at improving community health standards.

Phnom Penh Urban Community Development Project
Cambodia Phase III

Based on the success of two previous urban settlement upgrading initiatives implemented in between 2004 and 2010 with HFH International - Cambodia, Habitat for Humanity Australia, in partnership with The Charitable Foundation,  agreed to fund a third phase in Phnom Penh through in 2010.  The Phnom Penh Urban Community Development Project (Phase III), commenced in October 2010, aims to assist families with increased shelter security through housing solutions and access to sanitary toilets and clean drinking water. The project aims to enhance community health through in-depth training of community health volunteers and health awareness training. The project also aims to strengthen local community governance capacity.  

Siem Reap Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Project

Whilst Cambodia has made some progress in improving access to clean water and sanitation, access to rural water and sanitation is still the second lowest in Asia. The majority of rural and poor households draw water from traditional unprotected wells, ponds, rainwater collection and surface water (streams and swamps) that are often open to bacteriological contamination. Based on the Water and Sanitation Program-Asia Development Bank Report (2008), only 35 percent of the total rural population in Cambodia had access to water supply in 2004 and just 8% had access to improved sanitation. It is estimated that more than 11 million people are living without access to appropriate water supply and improved sanitation. Cambodia’s infant mortality rate, which is the second highest in Asia, has been attributed to Cambodians severe lack of access to safe water and sanitation. In response to this need, the project aims to improve the health of villagers by providing water and sanitation access to 5,524 families and by training water user groups and children to practice healthy and sanitary behaviour.  

Rainbow Village Project, Rach Gia City
Kien Giang Province, Vietnam


HFHI-V has been working to address pressing housing and development needs in Vietnam since 2003, establishing its presence in Kien Giang Province, Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Nai and Tien Giang Province. Within Rach Gia city in Kien Giang Province, a community of approximately 120 families have made their home in the city’s garbage dump in Vinh Quang Ward.  These families literally live and work ‘on’ and ‘in’ the garbage dump.  In addition to extremely poor living conditions, the families face numerous other difficulties including very high rates of illiteracy; few opportunities to develop alternative livelihoods due to a lack of vocational skills and micro-finance, limited access to educational, health and other social services resulting from the lack of formal registration documents.

HFHI-V and its principal implementing partner, the Catalyst Foundation, with support from Communities for Communities and HFHA, have secured a land package from the Provincial Government with space for 119 houses and a vocational training centre. The project aims to increase the standard of living, and reduce child labour and human trafficking in the target community through an integrated program of house construction, education, health education and livelihood development.


Bitung IDP Reloaction Project
North Sulawesi, Indonesia


Between 1999 and 2000, following a series of natural disasters and subsequent ethnic and cultural tension on the islands around North Sulawesi, tens of thousands of people fled to regional towns such as Manado and Bitung for safe refuge. The majority of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) are concentrated in Bitung, located 200km from the city of Manado. There are currently 862 families (3955 people) living in temporary shelter in seven IDP settlements. One of the settlement areas, called ‘Dembet’, has 125 families (400 people) currently living in temporary shelter. As a result of the forced relocation, these families have extremely limited capacity to improve their quality of life. They continue to live in sub-standard, unhygienic houses – often constructed from old discarded materials (eg corrugated iron, wooden sheeting). Many families continue to use tarpaulin sheets for cover from the elements. The community has limited capacity to generate a reliable income to support themselves.

With the support of Orica Limited, HFHA and HFH Indonesia will work in close partnership with the Dembet community in their relocation to a nearby site with secure land tenure and shelter in the form of a permanent, decent house. This project ensures access to safe water and sanitation facilities are available within the community. Additionally, a vegetation regeneration initiative will be completed and financial management and income generation support will be provided to the community.

Poverty Housing in the Asia Pacific Region

"A Right to a Decent Home” is an extensive survey of the housing landscape in the Asia-Pacific region. The report, the first of its kind by Habitat for Humanity, examines the state of poverty housing conditions, the causes and effects of substandard housing and initiatives needed to improve housing conditions.   



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