14:16 | 13/05/2022 Society
The New Zealand Ambassador to Vietnam, Tredene Dobson, and Vice Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Minh Vu announced a NZ$2 million contribution from Aotearoa New Zealand to support Vietnam’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The project will include NZ$1 million for medical equipment, provided through UNICEF Vietnam, and NZ$1 million for community level economic recovery support through CARE International and Oxfam in Vietnam.
“There is a well-known Māori proverb “Naku te rourou nau te rourou ka ora ai te iwi”, which means “With your food basket, and my food basket, the people will thrive”. In Vietnam you have a similar expression “Lá lành đùm lá rách”. In this spirit, humanitarian support remains an important part of the strategic partnership between New Zealand and Vietnam,” said Ambassador Tredene Dobson. “This project acknowledges that there is a two-fold approach to COVID recovery. On the one hand there is an on-going health response and this is why Aoteara 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. However, there is also a significant economic impact from the pandemic so following consultation with the Government of Vietnam, we wanted to ensure that this project also supported economic recovery amongst some of Vietnam’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 Vietnam,” Ambassador Dobson emphasised.
The partnership with UNICEF Vietnam will focus on providing medical equipment to support vaccination and treatment of children in Vietnam. Rana Flowers, UNICEF Representative in Vietnam, said: “Health systems have experienced terrible disruptions in essential health and other social services worldwide, including health services not related to COVID. This has had a significant impact on the well-being of children and women beyond that of the COVID-19 disease itself. While it is necessary to focus on the response to the pandemic, it is essential to also strengthen the preparedness of the health system to future outbreaks. Evidence shows that countries with health expenditure below $150 per capita will not be able to adequately prepare for or respond to future pandemics. They will not be able to close gaps in immunization or meet targets set by the Sustainable Development Goals. Building on Vietnam’s remarkable achievements, it is now critical to invest more to strengthen health systems, so that children and the communities have better chance to survive and thrive in the future. The medical equipment provided thanks to New Zealand will contribute to the preparedness of the health system for future outbreaks.”
The projects with CARE International in Vietnam and Oxfam in Vietnam 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.