Vulnerable Populations

USAID’s programs to assist vulnerable groups focus on services for persons with disabilities; key populations at high risk of HIV infection; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities; Vietnamese people affected by disasters; minorities; and the extremely poor.


USAID activities improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities in provinces that were heavily sprayed with Agent Orange. USAID improves access to health, education and employment services which help persons with disabilities fully integrate into society. Efforts to train rehabilitation practitioners and build effective rehabilitation systems will improve the quality of physical, occupational and speech therapies available. Activities also support local governments to ensure equal opportunities for persons with disabilities and influence public policies that affect their lives. USAID assists in the implementation of the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and enforcement of Vietnam’s disability legislation. To-date USAID has provided direct rehabilitation services for tens of thousands of people with disabilities, as well as education and vocational training, job placement, support to parent associations to expand their advocacy for disability issues, and worked to enhance physical accessibility.


All USAID programs aim to ensure women are actors as well as beneficiaries of Vietnam’s rapid development. Two projects are specifically targeted to improve women’s access to economic opportunities – a project that aims to empower women to access their land rights in two provinces in Vietnam, and a project strengthening dialogue and communication between workers in the apparel industry (the overwhelming majority of whom are women) and their managers.


USAID programs provide individualized technical assistance and mentoring to help local organizations better serve vulnerable populations. Organizations include those working with populations affected by HIV, persons with disabilities, LGBT leaders, and women as well as research and policy institutes, social enterprise service providers, and business and professional associations. Partnerships with these organizations and the private sector are an integral part of the USAID approach aimed at fostering innovation and local ownership of the development initiatives USAID supports.

Last updated: September 23, 2019

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