The Government of New Zealand has presented NZD2 million (nearly US$1.26 million) from its Covid-19 response fund to support Vietnam’s recovery from the pandemic.
The announcement ceremony for the fund, held in Hanoi on May 11, saw the participation of representatives of the New Zealand Embassy, the Foreign Ministry, UNICEF Vietnam, CARE International, and OXFAM Vietnam, among others.
|New Zealand provides NZD2 million fund to support Vietnam's recovery from Covid-19. Photo: New Zealand Embassy)|
Addressing the event, New Zealand Ambassador Tredene Dobson said with the aid project, there is a two-fold approach to Covid-19 recovery. On the one hand, she explained, New Zealand is working with UNICEF to deliver medical equipment to areas where a safe and effective response to Covid-19 is needed. On the other hand, through the aid project, New Zealand can support economic recovery amongst some of Vietnam’s most vulnerable communities – both in the major urban centers and hard-hit rural areas.
“By working closely with many trusted partners, this holistic approach will hopefully set a strong course for recovery. It is now more important than ever that we work quickly at pace, to achieve our collective vision of a strong, prosperous and resilient Vietnam,” Ambassador Dobson emphasized.
The New Zealand diplomat unveiled that the project includes one million NZD for medical equipment, provided through UNICEF Vietnam, and one million NZD for community-level economic recovery support through CARE International and Oxfam in Vietnam.
The partnership with UNICEF Vietnam will focus on providing medical equipment to support vaccination and treatment of children in Vietnam, she added.
UNICEF Representative in Vietnam Rana Flowers shared the Ambassador’s view that health systems have experienced terrible disruptions in essential health and other social services worldwide, including health services that are not related to Covid.
Evidence shows that countries with health expenditure of less than US$150 per capita will not be able to adequately prepare for or respond to future pandemics, she said, stressing that the countries will be unable to close gaps in immunization or meet targets set by the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Building on Viet Nam’s remarkable achievements, it is now critical to invest more to strengthen health systems, so that children and the communities have a better chance to survive and thrive in the future”, said Rana Flowers.
Speaking at the ceremony, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Minh Vu said Vietnam and New Zealand have seen increasing good relations across spheres, especially development cooperation, education, poverty alleviation and women's empowerment.
Appreciating the fund from New Zealand, Vu said it is very meaningful and practical support to Vietnam’s endeavour to recover the economy as well as help vulnerable people hard hit by the pandemic.
He said the Government and Foreign Ministry of Vietnam are willing to cooperate with the New Zealand Embassy and international organisations to effectively implement the project.
Over the past two years, the New Zealand Embassy has successfully carried out several CovidD-19 response projects worth NZD270,000 in total, assisting more than 3,300 female workers in various sectors and 130 children with disabilities as well as members of the hearing-impaired community in Vietnam. The Embassy’s partners in the projects are Oxfam in Vietnam, ActionAid in Vietnam, East Meets West, CARE International in Vietnam, Vietnam General Confederation of Labour, Tan Binh Centre, and SCDeaf.
According to the embassy, the new fund will be used for projects with CARE International in Vietnam and Oxfam in Vietnam, aimed to support a total of 5,400 persons, who have been negatively impacted by the pandemic. Most assistance will be directed to women, people with disabilities and members of ethnic minority communities in Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong, Quang Tri, and Ha Giang provinces, it noted.
source: Vietnam News Agency