UNICEF starts distribution of life-saving supplies to more than 340,000 people in Viet Nam in response to COVID-19
Soc Trang (VIET NAM), 26 May 2020 – UNICEF continues today the distribution of life-saving supplies that will reach more than 340,000 vulnerable people – mainly children – to protect against the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases. The supplies include soap bars, hand sanitizers, and ceramic water filters that will be available in schools, commune health centres and communities in 7 provinces, including Soc Trang, Ben Tre, Ninh Thuan, Lao Cai, Dien Bien, Gia Lai, and Kon Tum.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread worldwide, the hand washing practices that are now well established in Viet Nam must continue, while we remain vigilant to fight the spread of this and any disease that threatens children’s health and wellbeing,” said Rana Flowers, UNICEF Representative in Viet Nam.
UNICEF has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic since the beginning of the crisis focusing on prevention messages and community engagement – benefiting from the support of well-known celebrities in an effort to reach every child – including in ethnic languages and reaching those with a disability; ensuring the provision of critical medical and water, sanitation and hygiene supplies; and maintaining the support for continuing access to essential healthcare, nutrition, education, social and child protection services for the most vulnerable women and children.
Today’s distribution of supplies is organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and will be complemented by additional distributions in the following weeks. The supplies are accompanied by information material about proper handwashing and hygiene practices to help people and children stay safe.
Rana Flowers (Right), UNICEF representative in Vietnam, and Nguyen Hoang Hiep (Centre), Vietnamese Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, speak to a woman in Soc Trang Province, Vietnam, May 26, 2020.
“Handwashing has never been more important than in the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many children and their families cannot do this simple act as clean water and basic hygiene facilities remain out of reach”, added Rana Flowers during a handover ceremony in Soc Trang, one of 7 provinces receiving supplies.
The crisis in the Mekong Delta provinces is compounded by the drought and saltwater intrusion that has challenged the region since 2019.
UNICEF’s work does not stop at the delivery of supplies. The organization works to ensure that opportunities for lasting change in the lives of children are seized, that it reaches all children, and that the change is sustainable. Helping UNICEF reach children to ensure they enjoy a healthy life and have equal opportunity to fulfil their dreams, are a host of crucial partners. UNICEF is incredibly grateful for the financial support from the Government of Japan, USAID, and other donors, who stand out in their work for the health and well-being for every child in the country.
UNICEF is both an emergency organisation (the ‘E’ in UNICEF) as well as being focused on sustainable development, added Rana Flowers, ‘with every crisis, comes the opportunity for meaningful change – our focus is on assisting children and communities to recover from crisis while attending to the long term consequences that threaten children’s rights and their development. COVID 19, more than any other crisis, threatens to become a child rights crisis. Our focus right now is on measuring and immediately addressing the threats to children’s rights – from school drop-out and child labour, to increased levels of violence, to the spread of disease for those communities without running water or hygiene products. UNICEF is advocating for social protection that is focused on children - and appealing to businesses and the public to continue their support that enable the organization to scale up its key life-saving interventions.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about COVID-19, visit https://www.unicef.org/vietnam/covid-19
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit https://www.unicef.org/vietnam