Making news

British NGOs propose ideas for Vietnam’s socio-economic development

A symposium was held in London on April 3 to discuss how British non-governmental organisations (NGO) that are operating in Vietnam can support the country’s socio-economic development.

Representatives of the NGOs gave proposals on measures to assist Vietnam’s socio-economic expansion process, especially in the fields of health care, science-technology, climate change, support to poor communities and ethnic minority groups, as well as women and girls’ empowerment. They also asked for more favourable conditions for their operations.

Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Hoang Long hailed the contributions from NGOs in general and those from the UK in particular to Vietnam’s development, affirming that the Vietnamese Embassy is ready to connect and support British NGOs during their operations in Vietnam.

Peter Lidgard, President of Medical & Scientific Aid for Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia (MSAVLC) thanked Vietnamese agencies and partners for supporting the organisation’s activities. The great assistance, along with the courage, openness, honesty, friendliness and tolerance of Vietnamese people are a driving force for MSAVLC, which was established in 1965 to provide medicine and medical equipment for Vietnam, to continue to work in the country even though the war had ended for many years.

Srikaran Srivivekanandarajah from Phan International said that one of the difficulties the organisation is encountering in Vietnam is the prolonged approval process for new aid projects, affecting the implementation of its time-limited projects.

Srivivekanandarajah said that global challenges such as climate change and economic crisis have increasing impacts on lower-middle-income countries and Vietnam is not an exception, pointing out that inequality is affecting vulnerable groups, especially young people suffering poverty, human trafficking and gender-based violence. This is a challenge that Plan International is working to address, he said.

Meanwhile, Olivia Hearn, CEO of Christian Noble Chidren’s Foundation, said that although Vietnam has made great achievements in poverty reduction, the country is facing many challenges, especially the engagement of youngsters in the process.

She suggested Vietnam promote efforts to support the poor and ethnic minority communities in accessing education and health care services to improve their living conditions.

Elizabeth Wells from Cherie Blair Foundation for Women said that it is necessary to strengthen coordination between Vietnam and the UK, especially British organisations and businesses operating in Vietnam to meet the needs of the communities.

At the event, held within the framework of the Vietnam Days in London from March 28 to April 27 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam-UK diplomatic relations, Ambassador Long presented the British NGOs certificates in recognition of their contributions to Vietnam’s development./.