Viet Nam Red Cross Society holds partnership meeting with government representatives

Published: 14 August 2014 5:05 CET

By Ly Nguyen, IFRC SEA

August 13th marks the first of a two-day partnership meeting held by the Viet Nam Red Cross Society (VNRC). Around 180 representatives from the government, Red Cross Red Crescent Movement partners, corporate partners and other non-governmental organizations attended the public event on the morning of the first day.

This was an opportunity for VNRC to reassert its commitment to continue its auxiliary role to the Vietnamese government in supporting priorities according to the Socio-Economic Development Plan in the upcoming period. More importantly, the event was attended by State President Truong Tan Sang and representatives from 11 government ministries and agencies.

“During my 22 years with the Red Cross, this is the first time I've seen the president of the country and representatives from 11 government ministries attending a Red Cross meeting. This shows the government’s commitment to the work of the Red Cross,” said Jagan Chapagain, director of IFRC Asia Pacific zone office, in his speech at the event.

The attendance at the event shows a strong domestic and external support for the VNRC. Over the years, 11 Partner National Societies have operated in the country and collectively mobilized, on average, USD 7 million each year to support the National Society.

This support has enabled VNRC to meet its goals and objectives in supporting millions of vulnerable people in Viet Nam through strategic areas including social welfare, disaster preparedness and disaster response, community-based healthcare and voluntary non-remunerated blood donation, capacity building and organizational development.

State President Truong Tan Sang also commended the VNRC for its expansion in social welfare. “Since the first partnership meeting in 2011, the Viet Nam Red Cross Society has expanded its relationships with an increasing number of humanitarian partners, included more variety in programme areas, and increased the number of people assisted. This is especially true for those in disaster-prone areas including ethnic minorities, victims of Agent Orange, the disabled, orphans and the elderly.”

”While Viet Nam has recently been elevated to a middle-income country, there remain challenges to be addressed that require international support, especially with the increasing vulnerability due to natural disasters related to climate change, urbanization and complex disease patterns,” said Kendall RePass, American Red Cross country representative in Viet Nam.

According to Jagan Chapagain, in order to address these rising challenges, the VNRC will need to scale up its programmes. This requires continued support from domestic as well as international partners.

At the two-day meeting, which includes the 2014 pre-disaster meeting, Movement partners will discuss the way of working forward to harmonize their support to the National Society, especially with the consolidation of the One-Direction approach.