Australian High Commission
Republic of Kenya

Development and Humanitarian Cooperation

Development and Humanitarian Cooperation 


The Australian Government's overseas aid program is a Federal Government funded program that reduces poverty in developing countries. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade - Australian Aid manages the program. 

Australia's assistance to Africa is aimed to support progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. For general information about Australia's development assistance to Africa, please click here.

The High Commission in Kenya coordinates or supports several development and humanitarian programs in East Africa:

  1. The Direct Aid Program (DAP) - a small grants program that provides financial assistance to eligible groups or organisations undertaking suitable small scale development projects. Projects can be in any sector (eg community health, education, small scale infrastructure, sanitation, rural development, environmental development, gender equality, conferences and training activities, and cultural and sporting activities) but must aim to alleviate basic humanitarian hardships, have a developmental outcome and be implemented within a relatively short period of time. In certain cases, consideration may be given to contributions to disaster relief operations.  Non-Governmental Organisations in Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda are eligible to apply.
  2. Australia Awards  - a scholarship program that provides opportunities for people from developing countries to undertake full-time postgraduate study in Australia or participate in short courses (Australia Awards Africa Fellowships) offered under the program.  Fields of study are targeted to address agreed priority human resource and development needs of recipient countries.



    • Drawing on leadership skills to contribute to healthcare reforms in Kenya –  Dr Angela Nyambura Gichaga.  Dr Gichaga was awarded an Australia Awards Scholarship to study a Master of Health Economics and Policy at the University of Adelaide in South Australia in 2012 and is now the Health Economist in the Directorate of Policy, Planning and Healthcare Financing (Monitoring & Evaluation) Unit within Kenya’s Ministry of Health.
    • From rural Kenya and “knowing nothing about geology”, Australia Awards Alumnus Joseph Kuria is now part of the mapping, exploration and resource estimation within Kenya’s mining sector.  He is currently taking part in the Emerging Leaders in African Mining (ELAM) programme run by IM4DC.
    • As a long standing alumnus of the Australia Awards Africa program, Mr Stephen Karingi has spent the past 15 years contributing to economic policy at a national, regional and global level. He is currently the Director for Regional Integration and Trade at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). 
    • Mr Saidi Mkwawa\'s Australia Award experience has exposed him to the potential for Australia-Africa linkages in the mining sector, and the benefits of practical training opportunities.
    • Mr Chris Lubangakene received a scholarship from the Australian Government to study a Master of Engineering Science in Metallurgy that has enabled him to make numerous contributions to the mining sector in his home country of Uganda.
    • Dr Francis Mhimbira completed a Master of Epidemiology at the University of Melbourne in 2010 with the help of a full scholarship from the Australian government. He speaks of his passion to advance his career in clinical research to help fight tuberculosis.
    • Mr Francis Musavi, an alumni of the Australia Awards Africa Fellowship program, is a Plant Protection Officer at the Ministry of Agriculture. He speaks of how the Fellowship enabled him to influence better post-harvest management measures among farmers and officials at the Ministry.
    • Mr Martin Nyakinye is the Chief Superintending Geologist at the Ministry of Mining in Kenya. He speaks on how an Australian Government-funded Fellowship has impacted his work in strengthening the technical capacity of the mining sector. 
    • Dr. Josphert Kimatu, an Australia Awards alumni, is an innovative and passionate man who has devoted his life to improving food security through research. He speaks of his experience in Australia and his current work in Machakos, eastern Kenya.


  3. Australia Awards Small Grants Scheme - established in 2011, this program supports alumni as they become involved in development activities in their home country. Three of the eligible areas of funding under the grant are seed-funding for the establishment of Alumni Associations, support for small-scale projects with a clear development benefit to African countries, and support for one-off professional development activities for individual alumni. The awarded projects fall in key sectors in Africa’s development efforts, including education and agriculture. For more information on the Small Grants Scheme and the two rounds of funding, click on the links below.

            Awardeees:  First round of Grant Awards in 2013  |  Second round of Grant Awards in 2013
  4. The Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) - this program subsidises Australian NGO community development activities that directly and tangibly alleviate poverty in developing countries.  The major focus of the activity must be at least one of the following:  basic education and training, primary health care, water supply and sanitation, income generation, rural and other poor, disadvantaged groups (particularly women and children), good governance and promotion of civil society, capacity strengthening of local NGOs, sustainable management of the environment and natural resources, renewable energy and appropriate technology.
  5. Humanitarian Support – Australia places a high priority on humanitarian assistance to Somalia. Australia adopts a ‘humanitarian-plus’ approach, focusing on life-saving assistance as well as early recovery and resilience building. In 2016-17 Australia provided AU$17 million for food, health services, water sanitation and hygiene and livelihoods support to communities in Somalia.  This funding was provided through partners such as the Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF), Somalia Resilience Program (SomReP), World Food Programme (WFP) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).  In 2017-18 Australia has provided AU$10 million in response to the ongoing drought.

    Australia provides assistance through direct funding and contributions through global mechanisms. Additional assistance across East Africa in 2016-17 includes AU$2.4 million to UNICEF respond to the drought in Kenya and AU$5 million to support South Sudanese refugees in Uganda through UNHCR. 


For more information: please email and clearly identify which program you are enquiring about.