New Zealand supports Viet Nam' post pandemic recovery with 2 million NZD assistance

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Minh Vu and New Zealand Ambassador to Viet Nam Tredene Dobson announced a 2 million NZD contribution from the government of New Zealand to support Viet Nam’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic on May 11.

New Zealand provides 2 million NZD fund to support Viet Nam's recovery from COVID-19 pandemic.

The announcement ceremony for the fund saw the participation of Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Minh Vu, New Zealand Ambassador to Viet Nam Tredene Dobson, UNICEF Representative in Viet Nam Rana Flowers, Country Director of CARE International in Viet Nam Le Kim Dung, and National Director of Oxfam in Viet Nam Vu Thi Quynh Hoa, among others.

The project will include 1 million NZD for medical equipment, provided through UNICEF Viet Nam, and 1 million NZD for community level economic recovery support through CARE International and Oxfam in Viet Nam.

Speaking at the announcement ceremony, Deputy Minister Nguyen Minh Vu affirmed that Viet Nam-New Zealand have enjoyed increasingly good relations. New Zealand has been a consistent provider of ODA to Viet Nam, in areas of development, for example, in hunger eradication, poverty reduction and women empowerment.

"Your assistance has helped many, and projects such as future projects will surely help many more", said Deputy Minister Nguyen Minh Vu.

Deputy Minister Nguyen Minh Vu expressed his hope that the New Zealand Embassy, UNICEF Viet Nam, Oxfam in Viet Nam and CARE International in Viet Nam would closely coordinate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam in implementing this project effectively.

"The more efficiently you operate, the more beneficiaries, Vietnamese, would benefit from your operations, to get the assistance that they need, to better their lives...I think, that's part and parcel of truly "leaving no one behind", truly "putting people at the core of all we do", said he.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Minh Vu speaks at the announcement ceremony.

Quoting a well-known Māori proverb “Naku te rourou nau te rourou ka ora ai te iwi”, which means “With your foodbasket, and my foodbasket, the people will thrive”, New Zealand Ambassador Tredene Dobson affirmed that humanitarian support remains an important part of the strategic partnership between New Zealand and Viet Nam.

According to the New Zealand diplomat, this project acknowledges that there is a two-fold approach to COVID-19 recovery. On the one hand, New Zealand is working with UNICEF to deliver medical equipment to areas where it is needed for the ongoing safe and effective response to COVID-19. On the other hand, this project also supported economic recovery amongst some of Viet Nam’s most vulnerable communities, both in the major urban centres but also in 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 Viet Nam”, Ambassador Dobson emphasised.

New Zealand Ambassador Tredene Dobson speaks at the announcement ceremony.

The partnership with UNICEF Viet Nam will focus on providing medical equipment to support vaccination and treatment of children in Viet Nam.

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 which are not related to COVID-19.

“Building on Viet Nam’s remarkable achievements, it is now critical to invest more in strengthening health systems, so that children and the communities have a better chance to survive and thrive in the future”, said Rana Flowers.

The projects with CARE International in Viet Nam and Oxfam in Viet Nam will 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.

Speaking of the collaboration with New Zealand, Ms Le Kim Dung, Country Director of CARE International in Viet Nam expressed her belief that this grant will support over 3,100 people from vulnerable households in ethnic minority communities in Quang Tri and Ha Giang to recover quickly from the shock after the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Applying a gender responsive approach in conducting activities, we are making sure that poor and marginalised ethnic minority people of all genders, particularly women, equitably benefit from immediate assistance and development in general. Once recovered from the effects, they will gradually build their ability to withstand shocks altogether and remain resilient in the long term”, she said.

Overview of the announcement ceremony.

For her part, Ms. Vu Thi Quynh Hoa, National Director of Oxfam in Vietnam also said: "This project, following the COVID-19 response in Ho Chi Minh City and Binh Duong funded in 2021, implemented by Oxfam and partners, which timely supported people’s emergency needs during the peak of the crisis, once again shows your solidarity with Vietnam in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and recovering its economy”.

Over the past two years, the New Zealand Embassy has successfully delivered several COVID-19 response projects totalling 270,000 NZD through its partners, 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 Viet Nam by Oxfam in Vietnam, ActionAid in Viet Nam, East Meets West, CARE International in Viet Nam, Vietnam General Confederation of Labour, Tan Binh Centre, and SCDeaf.