VUFO confers Certificates of Merit on 50 foreign NGOs

The Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations (VUFO) held a ceremony to recognize the contributions of 2020's foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on December 21 in Hanoi. At this recognition ceremony, VUFO conferred Certificates of Merit on 50 NGOs for their effective contributions in 2020; summarized and evaluated the achieved results and proposed directions to cooperate with foreign NGOs in the coming time.
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Attending the conference including President of Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations Nguyen Phuong Nga, Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations Vice President and General Secretary Phan Anh Son, the International Non-Governmental Organizations' Working Committee Vice Director; together with representatives from the agencies of Working Group of the Committee for Foreign Non-Governmental Organizations Affairs, leaders of the Committees and units of the VUFO and representatives of international non-governmental organizations.

The ceremony of summarizing and recognition of the INGOs and individuals' contributions is organized annually by the VUFO with the purpose of recognizing and evaluating foreign NGOs work implemented in the past year, at the same time made considerations to increase aid effectiveness in the coming years.

USD 95.7 million USD has been disbursed for the first 6 months of 2020

According to Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Hung, Head of the People's Aid Coordinating Committee (PACCOM), due to the COVID-19 epidemic's impact in 2020, the humanitarian development aid activities of the NGOs have been greatly affected. Many programs, plans and activities have been adjusted and changed. Foreign experts and staffs have difficulty in entry, exiting and travelling due to compliance with quarantine regulations, slow progress of programs / projects, and delay in implementation.

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Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Hung, Head of People's Aid Coordinating Committee (PACCOM) gave a summary speech.

However, with the NGOs' initiatives and the active coordination and support done by VUFO, related agencies and localities, most organizations have promptly adjusted their plans and activities to focus on setting out effective solutions to ensure their good operation in Vietnam. In particular, many organizations have been making great efforts to support Vietnam in the prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic, overcoming the consequences of natural disasters including drought, saltwater intrusion in some provinces in the Mekong Delta, and floods in the Central region.

In 2020, NGOs will continue to aid Vietnam in many areas of socio-economic development of Vietnam such as: health, education, agricultural and rural development, solving social problems, protecting natural resources and the environment ... with total aid value estimated at 250 million USD. In particular, the aid for storms and floods in the Central region is nearly 9 million USD, about 6.5 million USD of support for COVID-19 prevention.

There are currently 489 foreign NGOs operating in Vietnam. In which, 18 organizations have stopped working, 8 new organizations. There are 140 organizations from the US, 69 organizations from France, 50 organizations from Korea .... The disbursement value for the first 6 months of 2020 is by USD 95.7 million, a decrease compared to the same period in 2019. (According to PACCOM report)

In 2020, NGOs continue supporting Vietnam in many areas of socio-economic development including: health, education, agricultural and rural development, solving social problems, protecting natural resources and the environment ... with the total aid value estimated at USD 250 million. In particular, the aid for storms and floods in the Central region was nearly USDN9 million, USD 6.5 million supported for COVID-19 prevention.

The support from foreign NGOs in the last years has helped Vietnam solve a number of pressing problems faced by people in disadvantaged areas, ethnic minority areas; emergency aid needs and disaster recovery, capacity building for staffs and people in project beneficiaries, supporting models, transfer of advanced technology, and enhancing knowledge between the Vietnamese people and international friends, introducing images of Vietnam to foreign donors, especially the results that Vietnamese Government and people have achieved in the prevention of the COVID-19 epidemic.

Appreciate the practical and timely contributions of INGOs

Speaking at the recognition ceremony, VUFO President Nguyen Phuong Nga expressed that: Year 2020 saw a special significance to the VUFO marking the organization's the 70th anniversary of establishment and development. The VUFO, with great achievements in the work of building and defending the country, building the friendship among ethnic groups, was honored by the State of Vietnam with the 2nd noble Award Ho Chi Minh Prize. In the challenging context of the COVID-19 epidemic, the VUFO has proactively, flexibly endeavored to successfully implement activities on both sides of promoting peace, solidarity and friendship and collaborating with foreign NGOs contributing to the dual goal of winning disease and economic development.

According to President Phuong Nga, in the Vietnam's achievements in general and the VUFO in particular, international friends play their important role including support for both spirit and material and cooperation of more than 500 INGOs in Vietnam. Foreign NGOs, typically 50 organizations receiving Certificates of Merit today, responded to the call of the VUFO, making efforts to join hands with the Vietnamese people to prevent COVID-19 epidemic, responded to drought and inundation salinity in the Mekong Delta, overcoming the consequences of floods in the Central region through practical programs and projects practically and timely.

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VUFO President Nguyen Phuong Nga spoke at the ceremony. Photo: VUFO

Some organizations have actively cooperated with Vietnamese authorities and local partners to assess people's urgent aid needs and quickly implemented packages to support medical equipment and supplies, medical supplies, basic necessities and medical facilities; develop propaganda materials to prevent diseases for the community, support living expenses, supply plants and seeds to restore the people's life and production. The organizations' activities have also targeted disadvantaged people in the community such as women, children and people with disabilities in a variety of ways and suitable for beneficiaries.

"We highly appreciate and respect your meaningful, timely and practical contributions. This is our joint endeavor and success and we acknowledge the emotional effort of you and the contribution of all INGOs. I believe it is important that INGOs creating gratitude, affection and good image to localities and the beneficiaries of the projects. On behalf of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations, I would like to thank the Chiefs of Representatives, Program Officers, and Administration Officers of foreign NGOs who have always strived to implement activities in Vietnam in 2020 for their contribution to helping Vietnam overcome over all challenges of natural disasters, ”said President Phuong Nga.

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The VUFO conferred Certificates of Merit on 50 foreign NGOs with effective contributions in 2020. Photo: VUFO

According to the VUFO President Nga, the VUFO, playing its role of permanent organization of the Committee of Foreign Non-Governmental Organizations Affairs, the focal point for aid mobilization, pledged to work closely with the Vietnamese authorities to facilitate foreign NGOs in Vietnam for supporting humanitarian aid and development activities, and together with to work for the common goals of implementing sustainable development and "no one will be left behind".

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Translated by Tarah Nguyen
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