Harris made the announcement during her ongoing three-day visit to Hanoi, stating that the funding will be provided through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), according to the agency.
|A USAID-funded farming project in Nam Dinh Province, Vietnam. Photo: USAID|
On August 25, Harris announced in the meeting with Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh the US donation of one million doses of Pfizer vaccine for Vietnam, bringing the total donated to date to six million doses.
Less than 24 hours later, about 750,000 doses arrived in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s largest city and epicenter in the fresh outbreak.
In addition, through the American Rescue Plan Act, USAID is continuing to support Vietnam’s Covid-19 response with $4.5 million to help accelerate equitable access to and delivery of safe and effective doses of Covid-19 vaccine, strengthen Vietnam’s health system to respond to Covid-19, and build capacity to detect and monitor Covid-19 and future disease threats.
An additional $1 million will enable the Vietnam Red Cross to extend its emergency response program in central Vietnam to reduce the impacts and prevent the spread of Covid-19 in flood-affected communities.
Combating climate change
To leverage the private sector in climate action, USAID and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to boost Vietnam’s competitiveness, expand market opportunities for US companies, and strengthen Vietnam’s environmental policy.
The MoU will improve VCCI’s focus on sustainability, green technology, and climate change. USAID plans to support VCCI’s development of a Green Index to help US businesses select provinces that are investing in green operations.
With an effort to expand clean energy and electric vehicles, the US government has also announced the five-year Vietnam Low Emission Energy Program II (V-LEEP II) project worth $36 million, which aims to accelerate Vietnam’s transition to a clean, secure, and market-driven energy system.
The project will work to improve government energy planning, enhance competition to encourage US private sector involvement in energy service provision, and increase renewable and zero-emissions energy systems.
It will help Vietnam scale up the adoption of electric motorbikes and implement the Direct Power Purchase Agreement mechanism to allow businesses to procure electricity directly from private firms producing renewable energy.
In another effort to protect the Mekong Delta region, through USAID, the US government launched the Mekong Coastal Habitat Conservation project, a new three-year $2.9 million project.
This project aims to protect key coastal habitats in the Mekong Delta region to increase the sustainability of fisheries, enhance climate change adaptation and improve biodiversity conservation.
Assistance and market access
The US helps promote women and ethnic-minority-owned enterprises through the Improving Private Sector Competitiveness project, an up to $36 million project is aimed to grow women and ethnic minority-owned businesses and promote job growth in rural areas through the adoption of new US technology.
It also help accelerate Vietnam’s transition to a digital economy with the Workforce for an Innovation and Startup Ecosystem, a project providing up to $2 million to support Vietnam’s effort to transition from an economy dominated by the labor-intensive, low-skilled industry to a workforce better equipped to participate in the global digital economy.
Building Vietnam’s digital skills will increase opportunities for trade between the United States and Vietnam and will promote US technologies.
USAID has announced the five-year Partnership for Higher Education Reform costing up to $14.2 million to strengthen teaching, research, innovation, and governance within the three largest national universities in Vietnam.
The program is aimed to provide inclusive opportunities to nearly 150,000 Vietnamese students under the support of US university and private sector partners.
Addressing legacy of war issues
The US government, through USAID, will provide two new awards for local Vietnamese organizations that grant assistance to persons with disabilities, with a total budget of up to $4 million.
The two projects, Hold My Hand II and Raising Voices, Creating Opportunities II, will assist persons with disabilities by improving their quality of life and promoting their social inclusion. As one of our oldest war legacy initiatives, disability programming first began under Senator Leahy’s War Victims Fund and has long served as a core element of strengthening bilateral cooperation.