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|UNFPA Representative in Vietnam Naomi Kitahara (L) symbolically hands over the aid to Secretary of the HCYU Central Committee Bui Quang Huy. Photo: UNFPA Vietnam|
At the ceremony held on January in Hanoi, Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA Representative in Vietnam handed over 3,704 Dignity Kits worth USD180,000 to Bui Quang Huy, Standing Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, President of the Vietnam National Union of Students to support older persons in Vietnam’s floods-affected three provinces, namely Ha Tinh, Quang Tri and Quang Ngai.
This follows UNFPA’s earlier provision of dignity kits to support women at risk of Gender-Based Violence in floods-affected provinces in Vietnam. The handover was made possible with financial contributions from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).
The country’s central coastal region has suffered unprecedented flooding from prolonged downpours and successive typhoons since early October, resulting in more than 200 deaths recorded so far, and displacing thousands of people. At least 7.7 million people in the region have been affected, including an estimated 1,343,162 women of reproductive age with 92,075 of them being pregnant and 143,000 people over 65 years old.
When communities are struck by natural disasters, older people are among the most vulnerable people affected. According to the joint rapid assessment carried out at the outset of the floods, in which UNFPA experts played a lead role in the most affected areas of central Vietnam, health facilities have been hit hard by floods and landslides, and routine public health programmes have been disrupted. Older people’s health is at risk because they are not necessarily able to get the care they need. Their vulnerabilities can become a serious challenge to survival and wellbeing.
Dignity Kits are a signature product of UNFPA's comprehensive package of humanitarian assistance to safeguard sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls, mitigate the risk of gender-based violence, and respond to and protect the dignity of women and girls adversely affected by a crisis. UNFPA also extends the Dignity Kits to other vulnerable groups including older persons.
|At least 7.7 million people were affected, more than 1.3 million of them women in reproductive age and 143,000 people over 65 years old. Photo by VnExpress/Vo Thanh|
“This time, dignity kits were adjusted to meet the special needs of the elderly, slightly different from previous ones for women, and they are in red buckets for the elderly women, and in yellow budgets for the elderly men. Red and yellow are the colors of the Vietnamese national flag, and the dignity kits in red and yellow are meant to signify solidarity, between women and men, and between old and young people in Viet Nam,” said Kitahara at the handover ceremony.
UNFPA’s partnership with the Youth Union came about from the idea of linking youth and old people for a Vietnam where everyone’s dignity is respected. UNFPA expressed its appreciation to the Youth Union for lending a helping hand to meet the special needs of the elderly population, which is an initiative that UNFPA promotes and advocates.
For his part, Bui Quang Huy, Standing Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, President of the Vietnam National Union of Students highly appreciated UNFPA's support and affirmed, “The Youth Union, in its continuous effort promoting the contribution of young people to the society and communities, will request the Provincial Youth Union of Quang Ngai, Quang Tri and Ha Tinh to deliver the Dignity Kits to each older person in the flood affected areas as quickly as possible.”
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