At a glance: Viet Nam

For new UNICEF ambassador in Viet Nam, appointment is a 'life-long dream'

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF Viet Nam/2010/Thanh Huong
In Ha Noi, UNICEF Acting Representative in Viet Nam Jean Dupraz hands an official letter of appointment to supermodel Vu Nguyen Ha Anh.

HA NOI, Viet Nam, 23 August 2010 – Internationally renowned model Vu Nguyen Ha Anh has joined the ranks of over 270 national UNICEF ambassadors, increasing public awareness of the rights of children and women.

“Supporting UNICEF's work for children in Viet Nam is a life-long dream,” said Ms. Ha Anh. “Child rights is an issue that I've been engaged with on many different levels for a number of years. But it is a privilege and an immense pleasure to team up with UNICEF, an organization that has a unique mission, tremendous capacity and has already achieved so much in Viet Nam."

Ms. Ha Anh studied in the United Kingdom, where she began a career as a model. While living in the UK, Ms. Ha Anh engaged in charity work, and in Viet Nam has been involved with an organization providing support to children with disabilities.

Youth champion in Viet Nam

“While she already enjoys high visibility and an enthusiastic following in Viet Nam, especially among younger people, we appreciate the fact that Ms. Ha Anh is well connected to the cultural and artistic scene,” said UNICEF Acting Representative in Viet Nam Jean Dupraz. “She can mobilize many of her peers and fellow celebrities for the cause of Viet Nam's children.”

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF Viet Nam/2010/Thanh Huong
UNICEF Acting Representative in Viet Nam Jean Dupraz (left) welcomes supermodel Vu Nguyen Ha Anh to the ranks of UNICEF's ambassadors.

Mr. Dupraz added that Ms. Ha Anh is an excellent role model for young people, and that she is “the perfect bridge between the younger and the older generations in Viet Nam.”

“Given her strong commitment to children affected by HIV and AIDS, and to social and cultural change in relation to breastfeeding practices and sex selection at birth as well as road safety in Viet Nam, she will be a compelling and eloquent advocate for these and related issues,” he said.
 
In her work with UNICEF, Ms. Ha Anh will focus on combating stigma and discrimination towards children affected by HIV and AIDS. She will advocate for road safety and continue to encourage universal breastfeeding, among other issues.

Growing gap between rich and poor

Viet Nam was the first country in Asia – and just the second in the world – to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Propelled by impressive economic growth backed by investment in social programmes, Viet Nam is now classified as a ‘middle-income’ status nation. The country is on track to achieve nearly all of the Millennium Development Goals at the national level by the deadline year of 2015. It is unlikely, however, that the country will meet the HIV and AIDS- and sanitation-related targets.

Moreover, not all of Viet Nam’s nearly 30 million children – more than 30 per cent of the population – are benefiting equally from the country’s new prosperity. The gap between the rich and the poor and between ethnic Kinh Vietnamese and the country’s many minority populations (some 13 per cent of the population) is increasing. In 2008, nearly 50 per cent of the country’s ethnic minorities lived in poverty.


 

 

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