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Since 1986, the percentage of people living in poverty in Vietnam has dropped from 78 percent to about 14 percent - the most rapid sustained decline in poverty of any country on record. Nevertheless, persistent pockets of poverty still exist throughout the country in communities that are vulnerable or marginalized, including rural communities in the Central Highlands and Mekong Delta and urban poor. Our programs also assist underrepresented populations such as ethnic minority groups and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, victims of human trafficking as well as people affected by natural disasters.
IMPROVING RURAL LIVELIHOODS
Expanding Vietnam’s cocoa sector into the remote provinces of the Central Highlands supports USAID’s goal of improving livelihoods among poor, rural, and ethnic minority farmers. Working in alliance with partners such as the World Cocoa Foundation, and Mars Inc., the Sustainable Cocoa for Farmers (SCF) project has enrolled farmers, nursery owners and fermentary operators in training programs that promote sound agricultural practices while building strong local technical and management capacity for long-term economic and environmental sustainability. Recent efforts include increased outreach, inclusion and leadership training for women farmers that has helped to bridge social and economic isolation.
ASSISTANCE TO DISASTER VICTIMS
We assist families affected by natural disasters such as floods and typhoons, reduce vulnerability of urban communities through better disaster preparedness and mitigation, and improve the capacity of first responders and health care facilities to better manage emergencies and mass casualty events, with the aim of reducing mortality and increasing the survival rate of disaster victims.
Since 2000, USAID, through the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, has provided approximately $12 million in disaster response, preparedness and risk reduction assistance in Vietnam. USAID has also responded to annual disasters in Vietnam. USAID-supported disaster relief efforts are closely coordinated with and directly support the Government of Vietnam’s relief efforts.
ANTI-TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS
USAID counters transnational crime through increased public awareness, training of GVN law enforcement officers and working with private sector to promote good labor practices and raise awareness of labor trafficking issues. USAID strives to improve shelter services, specifically, health and psychological counseling for returnees who were illicitly recruited into the commercial sex trade or were victims of labor exploitation and provide vocational training. USAID works with Vietnamese NGOs to provide services for victims of trafficking as well as conducting research on TIP relevant issues. In the past projects, USAID provided safe migration skills for youth inside and outside school and support GVN in developing guidance for strengthening protection and services for victims of trafficking.
USAID’s Regional Development Mission for Asia has also supported awareness of human trafficking and exploitation through the MTV EXIT campaign since 2007.
SUPPORT TO LGBT COMMUNITY
Although Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) individuals are not criminalized in Vietnam, they face severe stigma and discrimination at individual, family and community levels, which impedes their access to health and social services and at times negatively impacts their education and employment opportunities.
Since October 2013, USAID has partnered with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to implement the Support to Strengthen Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Viet Nam project by engaging CSOs working on LGBT issues, the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA). The project aims to enhance the capacity of CSOs throughout the country, while at the same time reducing stigma and discrimination against LGBT people through awareness raising, psychosocial and legal support and improving the legal environment for them in Vietnam.
Last updated: April 15, 2014