Social News 22/6

Ethnic affairs in Central, Central Highlands reviewed


At the conference to review ethnic minority affairs in 10 Central and Central Highlands provinces in the first six months of 2018 

The Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs (CEMA) held a conference on June 22 to review ethnic minority affairs in 10 Central and Central Highlands provinces in the first six months of 2018.

At the meeting, CEMA Vice Chairman Nong Quoc Tuan instructed authorities of the Central and Central Highlands provinces to follow and report the situation in ethnic and mountainous areas in a timely manner, especially losses caused disasters and diseases, as well as cases of security and order to devise measures to improve people’s lives.

The localities were asked to effectively implement this year’s ethnic projects and policies, as well as enhance inspection of work on ethnic affairs and raise efficiency of law dissemination for staffs working in the field.

Tuan also called for the provinces’ efforts to raise public awareness of ethnic policies, thus encouraging the community’s engagement in policy implementation.

Participants suggested that the Government should submit the law on supporting development of ethnic and mountainous areas to the National Assembly for approval in the coming time, while ministries should issue documents guiding localities to use capital sources for implementation of investment programmes and policies in these areas.

In the year’s first half, relevant agencies enhanced mobilisation of social sources to accelerate implementation of ethnic programmes and policies, contributing to the socio-economic development and ensuring security in the region. 

This year, the State has provided thousands of billions of VND in support of ethnic and mountainous areas in the Central and Central Highlands regions, thus improving the material and spiritual lives of local ethnic minorities.

French-funded project trains poor youths in baking


Youths taught to bake in Thua Thien-Hue province - Illustrative image (Source:

The European Institute for Cooperation and Development (IECD) and the HCM City-based Thu Duc College (TDC) kicked off the French bakery in Ho Chi Minh City (La Boulangerie Francaise – HCMC) project on June 22.

 The project aims to train disadvantaged young people aged between 18 and 23 in bakery and pastry at the highest standards of qualification, said IECD Director Thomas Behaghel.

 Trainees will be equipped with high professional skills and safe baking process as well as English communication skills, he said, adding that after the training course, they can work at hi-end restaurants and hotels in Ho Chi Minh City and nearby areas.

 Speaking at the opening ceremony, French Ambassador to Vietnam Bertrand Lortholary, said the project not only creates hardworking, devoted and highly-skilled bakers but also offers a venue for trainees and recruiters to meet each other.

 As many as 20 young people with difficult circumstances from 10 cities and provinces nationwide have been selected to join the project. Each course lasts from 16 to 20 months and applies French training programmes with European-standardised equipment and lecturers from French schools.

 According to Nguyen Thi Ly, Rector of the Thu Duc College, the programme will help students and lecturers of the school’s restaurant and hotel department access advanced knowledge and technology as well as modern teaching methods.

Smallholder farmers to get support to improve food safety


New Zealand Ambassador to Vietnam Wendy Mathews (R) receives the IFC's Food Safety Toolkit in Vietnam 

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, will help Vietnamese smallholders farmers improve the safety of their products like poultry, fruits and vegetables in a new project.

The project is expected to unlock new market opportunities and increase income for the smallholder farmers, thus contributing to better food security, the IFC announced during an event to launch the project in Vietnam on June 22.

The project, Farmer Advisory Component, is a component of IFC’s broader Vietnam Food Safety Programme, which was launched in July 2017 in partnership with the Slovak Republic, aiming to address food safety standards and practices in the country.

The annual food consumption in the domestic market accounts for roughly 15 percent of Vietnam’s GDP, with an average annual growth rate of approximately 18 percent. But, inadequate safety standards can inhibit the sector’s growth potential, jeopardising consumer health and reducing market opportunities for local food producers in the modern food value chain. 

“Implementing internationally accepted food safety practices and systems is essential for the sustainable growth of Vietnam’s agribusiness sector. This will improve competitiveness and help increase sales for farmers and food producers,” said Kyle Kelhofer, IFC Country Manager for Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. “IFC’s work in Vietnam builds on our experience in other countries around the world where we helped local players grow and create new and better opportunities.” 

Over the next three years, IFC, in partnership with New Zealand, will raise awareness of increased food safety standards and deliver customised training programmes to about 1,000 smallholder farmers based on the basic level of GlobalGAP requirements and other relevant standards. The project will also provide a more intensive package of support to up to 20 small-scale farms, helping them acquire GlobalGAP certification — an internationally recognised set of farm standards dedicated to Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) or equivalent standards.

It will also identify opportunities to connect the trained farmers with potential retailers and agribusiness firms who are looking for internationally certified products. 

“Improving food safety standards in order to access new markets is key to achieving Vietnam’s 40-billion-USD agricultural product export target in 2018 and beyond,” said New Zealand Ambassador to Vietnam Wendy Mathews. “We are very pleased to support IFC's efforts to connect smallholder farmers with growing domestic and international markets. Promoting better agribusiness practices and food safety standards will benefit Vietnam’s farmers, businesses and consumers.” 

Under the IFC Vietnam Food Safety Programme, the IFC has helped 40 poultry houses of two independent downstream poultry farms which source breeding chickens from Bel Ga JSC – a leading poultry breeding firm – acquire the GlobalGAP Certification within just a year. 

By establishing a system for GlobalGAP, which focuses on hygiene and biosecurity, antibiotic reduction, and traceability, among others, these two farms — from Binh Phuoc and Dong Nai provinces — have been able to supply about 3 million GlobalGAP-certified broilers or 6 million kilogrammes of chicken meat to the domestic market and export to Japan over the past year.

Training course on dyke protection, flood prevention


The General Department of Disaster Prevention and Control under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development held a training course on dyke protection techniques and flood prevention in the central coastal province of Nghe An on June 21.

According to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting (NCHMF), the developments of weather patterns and natural disasters in 2018 will continue to be complicated and unpredictable.

The number of storms and tropical depressions in the East Sea is forecast to be equal to the average for many years (around 12-13 storms per year) and nearly 4-5 storms will directly affect the country’s mainland.

This year, to minimize the damage to be caused by natural disasters, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has asked localities to strengthen the management of dykes and prepare for flood prevention.

Localities should mobilize financial resources to handle unexpected incidents before and during the flood season while upgrading dyke systems to mitigate future damages.

In 2017, the country’s river and sea dyke system was seriously damaged by floods and typhoons, especially the over 55km sea dyke from the northern port city of Hai Phong to the central coastal province of Thua Thien-Hue.

Localities voiced their hope that the Government and centrally-run ministries will provide more financial support to help them build and upgrade dykes annually to prevent floods and storms effectively.

The Government has issued Resolution 76/NQ-CP on natural disaster prevention and climate change adaptation with specific goal by 2025 of reducing 30 percent of human losses caused by natural disasters with similar intensity and scale to those occurring in 2015-2020.

Authorities at all levels, organisations, and households across the country will receive full information on natural calamities, while training courses will be opened for natural disaster prevention forces to provide them with necessary skills.

According to the resolution, among the general solutions to natural disaster prevention are improving the resilience of infrastructure, reinforcing and upgrading the river and sea dyke systems as well as water reservoirs and storm shelters, and improving water drainage.

Vietnam is one of the five countries hardest hit by natural disasters. Over the past two decades, natural disasters left over 400 people dead and missing each year, caused economic losses equal to about 1-1.5 percent of GDP, and affected people’s living environment and conditions, as well as socio-economic activities and sustainable development of the country.  

In 2017, a record number of 16 typhoons and four low pressures occurred in the East Sea. The storms claimed the lives of 386 people, damaged more than 600,000 houses and caused economic losses of about 60 trillion VND (2.64 billion USD), with the worst typhoons being Doksuri and Damrey. 

CPV Online Newspaper launches Party document website


The Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Online Newspaper's new website (Photo:

The Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Online Newspaper on June 20 launched its new website archiving Party documents and files.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, Editor-in-Chief Tran Doan Tien said the Party documents and files category has been a unique feature of the newspaper for years.

The online newspaper posted about 17.5 million visits on a weekly average, 28 percent of which were recorded for the category, he added.

Tien said the category now becomes an independent website and can run on all types of devices from laptops, smartphones to tablets.

Compared to its old form, the site, available at, adds relevant information on ministries, sectors, provinces, and cities. 

The website offers publications of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Lenin and Ho Chi Minh, and serves as a trustful and official source of policies and regulations of the Party and Government, Tien said.

Also at the ceremony, the CPV Online Newspaper signed a communications cooperation programme for 2018 – 2022 with four press agencies, namely the Government Portal, People’s Representative Online Newspaper, People’s Army Newspaper and Public Security News.

Cuban newspaper: Vietnam has fulfilled Uncle Ho’s dream


In 1966, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz visited Vietnam and met President Ho Chi Minh. (Source:

The Granma daily, the newspaper of the Communist Party of Cuba, has run many articles praising the undaunted spirit of Vietnamese people during the past wars against French and US forces, as well as the present cause of national construction and defence. 

On April 6, 2018, the newspaper published an article title “Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh” which recalled the late President’s call for national resistance on December 20, 1946. 

It stressed that the Vietnamese revolution’s victory was a great blow to US imperialism and the world's reactionary forces. 

The article said today independent and unified, Vietnam is one of the most solid victorious revolutions in contemporary human history, both theoretically and practically.

“The extraordinary courage of the Vietnamese and the wise leadership of Ho Chi Minh won solidarity in practically all corners of the planet. Cubans, led by Fidel Castro, were pioneers in organizing solidarity activities,” it stressed. 

The Vietnamese appreciated a phrase always heard in the forums, summarizing the strong solidarity expressed many times by Fidel Castro during the most difficult times in the Vietnamese struggle: "For Vietnam we are ready to shed our own blood." 

This victory has grown with the rapid, surprising positioning of Vietnam among Southeast Asian countries, and others around the world, as an emerging economy with impressive social and cultural development, the article noted. 

On May 19, 2017, Granma also run another article titled “Vietnam has fulfilled Ho Chi Minh’s dream” to mark the late leader’s birthday. 

The best homage of the Vietnamese people to President Ho Chi Minh is to have amply fulfilled his dream of building a nation ten times more beautiful, the article said. 

“Today, 127 years since the Vietnamese leader’s birth, his nation is characterized by rapid economic growth and a great capacity for transformation, which put it in an advantageous position in the face of 21st century challenges,” the article said. 

The path taken by the country, since the implementation of the Doi Moi (Renewal) policy from 1986, has seen more than 20 million people lifted out of poverty in less than two decades, while primary school attendance has risen to almost 100 percent, and life expectancy up to 70 years. 

Over the same period, the country multiplied its GDP per capita five-fold, and diversified its export base. However, its vision for the future is much more ambitious as Vietnam’s main goal is to become an industrialized nation before 2035.

“The Vietnamese are proud to have fulfilled the desire of their greatest leader and guide, and now intend to build a country 50 or 100 times more beautiful and prosperous,” the article said.

Thua Thien-Hue: Climate-adapted project benefits 400,000 residents


Damaged sea dyke in Phu Loc district 

Up to 400,000 residents in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue have become more resilient to the impacts of climate change and improved their livelihoods as their effort gained support from a climate-adapted project.

The Climate-Adapted Local Development and Innovation Project, launched by the People’s Committee of Thua Thien-Hue province and the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency (LuxDev), has recently concluded after four years of implementation.

The project has total budget worth 10,000 EUR, including eight million EUR from the non-refundable ODA provided by the Luxembourg Government and the remaining from the province.

It was carried out from July 2013 until the end of 2017 in 29 poor and vulnerable (coastal, lagoon, low land) communes of Thua Thien-Hue’s three districts of Quang Dien, Phu Vang and Phu Loc, which were often affected by natural disasters due to climate change.

As many as 25 activities and 10 major focused areas were implemented in the four-year project, gaining positive results in knowledge improvement, community and government management, systems and assets for adaptive socio-economic development, and poverty reduction.

Those activities also contributed to increasing protection, availability, resilience and sustainable use of natural resources, as well as yielding more diverse, efficient, climate-adapted and market-competitive productive activities.

After the project, 2,225 poor households in these targeted localities escaped from poverty and the rate of poor families that badly hit by disasters reduced by more than 30 percent. 

Meanwhile, 76.1 percent of women have gotten better access to economic opportunities and cases of violence towards women and young girls declined by 92 percent.

Seventy-one percent of unemployed people have landed jobs, earning an average income of 3 million VND per month.

Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee said Nguyen Van Phuong said the project’s outcomes will contribute to the provincial rural economic development and poverty reduction. 

Thua Thien-Hue will continue its cooperation with LuxDev, especially in financial management and the community’s engagement in managing and operating constructions of the project, he added.

Vietnam-Italy diplomatic ties marked in HCM City


Art performance at the ceremony to mark 45th anniversary of Vietnam-Italy diplomatic ties 

Mutual trust, determination, and joint efforts will make the strategic partnership between Vietnam and Italy and the cooperative ties between Ho Chi Minh City and Italian localities thrive to benefit the two peoples and regional and international peace, stability and prosperity, said Standing Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem.

At a ceremony to mark the 45th anniversary of the diplomatic ties with Italy, Liem noticed that both sides have enhanced delegation exchanges in the past years, including the visit to Vietnam in 2014 and 2015 made by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and President Sergio Mattarella, and the visit to Italy in 2013 and 2014 by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and President Tran Dai Quang.

The two countries have closely cooperated at international and multilateral forums, enhanced trade and investment as well as bolstered collaboration in the fields of education, tourism and science, he said.

Regarding the relations between Ho Chi Minh City and the European country, Liem underlined that both sides have gained important achievements in trade, investment, education-training, culture and tourism.

Italian leaders’ visit to the southern hub is a vivid illustration for the sound friendship between the two countries while opening new cooperative opportunities for both sides in various sectors.

The Italian Government has committed support to establishing a garment and leather shoes technology centre at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology. In addition, the Italian Linguistics and Literature Department set up in 2008 under the University of Social Sciences and Humanities is the translation of positive education cooperation between the two nations.

Consul General of Italy in Ho Chi Minh City Dante Brandi, for his part, pointed to the need to start concretizing cooperative activities to elevate the bilateral relations in various sectors, especially those of both sides’ strengths and interests, to a next level. 

Italy sees potential and opportunities in the relations with Ho Chi Minh City, the most dynamic city in Vietnam, he affirmed, expressing his delights over the smooth cooperation with the city to welcome high-ranking delegations from Italy.

Together with the productive results in trade, investment and education, Ho Chi Minh City and Italy have huge potential to further win-win cooperation in infrastructure development, museum management, tourism development, and scientific research.