USAID Improving Quality of Life for People with Disabilities in AO-Affected Provinces

By the end of 2022, the USAID-funded assistance project for persons with disabilities aims to benefit 15,000 persons with disabilities from direct assistance, and rehabilitation and social service systems will be built in eight provinces.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID)’s INCLUSION project on August 4-5 had convened a review meeting to discuss the project progress and way forward in Hoi An city, Quang Nam province.

At the Inclusion project mid-year review 2022 in Hoi An city, Quang Nam province. Source: USAID Vietnam

This is a US$65 million, five-year disability project aims to improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities in eight provinces heavily sprayed with Agent Orange (Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam, Tay Ninh, Binh Phuoc, Dong Nai, Binh Dinh, and Kon Tum) by expanding and improving rehabilitation and social services, enhancing policy implementation, and building service provider capacity of national and local government disabilities agencies as well as community disabilities organizations.

In particular, Quang Nam is one of the central provinces of the project with the number and level of persons with disabilities accounting for a major proportion of the entire project.

The project mid-year review brought together representatives of the project sponsor - the USAID and the project managing agency - National Action Centre for Toxic Chemicals and Environmental Treatment (NACCET) included Cris Fentross, USAID Vietnam Acting Deputy Mission Director; Tran Duc Hung, NACCET deputy director; the managing and implementing awardees, and relevant ministries and departments.

The event was a platform for the participants to update stakeholders on the project progress per objectives and expected results in phase 1 in each cluster in the last six months, as well as discuss on the upcoming activities of the other half of 2022, and plans for phase 2.

Working through its partners, INCLUSION builds a multi-disciplinary rehabilitation service system and provides rehabilitation services to persons with disabilities and home-based care and training to family members in nursing, nutrition and safety. The project promotes social participation of persons with disabilities, builds their independent living skills, and provides them and their family members with peer and psychological support.

MCNV Country Director, Pham Dung delivers his presentation on the progress of MCNV's work in rehabilitation human resources development as part of the Inclusion project. Source: Medical Committee Netherlands – Vietnam (MCNV)

In the past 6 months, activities to support people with disabilities have been effectively implemented by localities; support to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities in areas sprayed with AO.

According to the project's statistics, eight provinces in the project have 66,438 victims and disabled people with special care needs; 76,733 people with mental disorders; 59,759 people have needs to participate in economic activities, vocational training. The project's support is of great significance in helping AO victims receive regular care and enjoy appropriate rehabilitation services so that they can improve their quality of life and integrate into society.

Vice Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee Tran Anh Tuan said that Quang Nam has more than 7,000 people with disabilities. The work of taking care of people with disabilities has recently been focused by the whole province, but the number of people with disabilities is very large, so there are pressures and concerns. Therefore, the province wants to improve the quality of life in a substantive and fundamental way, creating more conditions for people with disabilities to benefit from the project.