VIETNAM NEWS OCTOBER 25

Venezuela-Vietnam Friendship Association debuts

Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Ambassador Le Viet Duyen said the formation of the friendship association aims to bolster the development and exchange of initiatives and experience on the foundation of the countries’ comprehensive partnership, thereby contributing to security, peace, happiness and development of Vietnam and Venezuela.

He voiced his hope that the board will realise cooperation chances between the two nations across all fields based on long-standing solidarity and friendship, lifting the bilateral relations to a new height.

Chairman of the association Carolus Wimmer spoke highly of the efforts by the Vietnamese Embassy in strengthening friendship and fraternity between the countries.

Also the head of External Relations of the Communist Party of Venezuela, he pledged that more activities will be held in the coming time to enhance the bilateral ties./.

Vietnam has no new COVID-19 cases in community for 52 consecutive days

Vietnam had no new cases of COVID-19 to report as of 6 p.m. on October 24, marking the full 52 consecutive days without any new infections in the community, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

The country has documented 1,160 SARS-CoV-2 infections so far, as it reported 12 imported cases who were quarantined right after their arrivals.

Of the total, 691 were infected with the virus domestically, including 551 linked with Da Nang city since the latest coronavirus wave began there on July 25.

As many as 1,051 patients have recovered while 35 have died from complications related to the disease. Most of the fatalities were the elderly with serious underlying health conditions.

Among the patients still under treatment, four have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 once, three twice, and 16 thrice. Currently, there is no patient in critical conditions.

There are 14,149 people having close contact with confirmed cases or coming from pandemic-hit regions under quarantine at present, including 159 in hospitals, 13,185 in concentrated quarantine sites, and 805 at home or accommodation facilities.

Quang Binh presents gifts to Lao students

The central province of Quang Binh on October 24 presented 100 gift packages worth 80 million VND (3,450 USD) to Lao students who are studying in training facilities in the locality.

Addressing the ceremony to present the gifts, Secretary of the provincial Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union Dang Dai Bang said that the gift aims to support the Lao students to overcome difficulties facing them due to impact of natural disasters and COVID-19 pandemic.

He said he hopes that the students will continue to study hard and explore the culture and tradition of Vietnam and Quang Binh, thus working with youngsters and locals in Quang Binh and Khammouane province of Laos to promote the friendship between the two nations and localities.

Puki, one of the students receiving the gift, said that she is moved by the attention and support from their school and agencies in Quang Binh. 

She said that she hopes locals in Quang Binh will soon overcome difficulties due to the consequences of flooding and stabilise their life./.

My Son Sanctuary landscape protection zone established

VIETNAM NEWS OCTOBER 25

Some monuments in the My Son Sanctuary

A landscape protection zone for the My Son Sanctuary, a world cultural heritage site in the central province of Quang Nam, has been set up to preserve both historical and cultural relics and biodiversity there.

It covers more than 1,160ha of land, including over 1,100ha of natural forests, in Duy Phu and Duy Hoa communes of Duy Xuyen district.

Forests in this zone are currently home to 37 mammal species, including some listed in the Vietnam Red Data Book like the Sunda slow loris, the Sunda pangolin, the wildcat, and the small Indian civet.

They also habour 238 plant species, including critically endangered ones such as “cho den” (Parashorea stellata), “gien trang” (Xylopia pierrei), “thanh nganh nam” (Cratoxylum cochinchinense), and “thanh nganh dep” (Cratoxylum formosum).

As approved by the Quang Nam People’s Committee, this zone will be used for eco-tourism, house mammal and plant conservation models, and serve as a basis for developing landscape protection and relic preservation projects.

From 2020 to 2025, more than 96 billion VND (over 4 million USD) is to be invested in the My Son Sanctuary landscape protection zone by both tourism investors and the State.

Once the religious and political capital of the Champa Kingdom, My Son Sanctuary is located within a hilly landscape in Duy Phu commune of Duy Xuyen district, about 70km southwest of central Da Nang city and 40km from Hoi An ancient town of Quang Nam.

The sanctuary, comprising of eight groups of 71 monuments built between the 7th and the 13th century, was recognised as a world cultural heritage site by UNESCO in 1999.

Citizens’ laxation poses big risk to pandemic prevention work ​

Citizens’ laxation of COVID-19 preventive measures is posing a big risk to the pandemic prevention and control in the country.

Recently, the Trang An tourism complex in the northern province of Ninh Binh is rather crowded. However, few among the tourists wore a face mask, even though notices about pandemic prevention measures are posted everywhere and hand sanitizer is readily available. Many staff members in the complex, including guards, ticket sellers or waiters and waitresses at local restaurants do not wear face masks.

In fact, adherence to pandemic prevention measures in many localities has been loosened. Even in big cities with dense population, the abidance by epidemic prevention measures has become lax. In office buildings or apartment high-rises, it is easy to see people wearing no face masks in elevators.

Not only people but also relevant forces seem more relaxed in enforcing preventive measures. According to latest statistics of Ho Chi Minh City, forces gave warnings to 9,300 people and fined 4,064 others for not wearing face masks in public places during the period from August 5 to October 10. However, the real figure of violators must be much higher as it is easy to meet people wearing no face masks in public places.

Meanwhile, the situation of COVID-19 pandemic in the world shows no sign of abating. As of October 23 morning, the worldometers.info reported the total number of COVID-19 cases in the world has surpassed 41.9 million, with over 1.142 million deaths. The pandemic has spread to 217 countries and territories.

For every 100 new cases in the world, 34 are in Europe. Many European countries have begun to re-impose restriction measures to curb the return of the pandemic. The World Health Organisation is concerned that the crisis is worsening, and predicts that more deaths will occur in Europe in the time ahead.

Vietnam has entered the 51st day without any new infections in the community on October 23, with 1,148 cases of COVID-19 recorded as of 6am on October 23.

However, acting Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long warned that the risk of pandemic entering the country remains high, especially when more flights are bringing Vietnamese citizens and foreign experts home, including international commercial flights. In addition, the weather in winter and spring is favourable for infectious diseases to spread. It is worrying that recent inspections of the Health Ministry revealed that some localities and units are not following regulations and guidance in epidemic prevention. The monitoring of people quarantined at home is not strict enough.

Vietnam has been described as a model in COVID-19 prevention and control for its spirit of “fighting the pandemic like fighting an enemy,” and the strategy of mobilising the entire political system in quickly stamping out any outbreak, which allows the country to successfully curb the epidemic despite limited resources. “Know your enemy, and you can fight a hundred battles without loss,” was one of the classic military tactics by ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu, which can be applied not only in war but also in many social and economic fields. On the contrary, overconfidence and under-estimating the enemy are the cause of all defeat.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has stressed that in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam has only won some battles, and more fighting remains ahead. Therefore, each person must not loosen vigilance and must adapt to the “new normal” situation by observing the 5-K message: Khau trang (facemask) – Khu khuan (disinfection) – Khoang cach (Keeping distance) – Khong tu tap (no gatherings) – Khaibao y te (medical declaration)./.

Vietnam attends 75th general assembly of Int’l Military Sports Council

A Vietnamese delegation attended the 75th General Assembly of the International Military Sports Council (CISM), which was held online on October 22.

It was led by Colonel Bui Hong Quang, deputy head of the Department of Military Training under the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army.

In his opening remarks, CISM President Colonel Hervé Piccirillo said the event has demonstrated the sports spirit and friendship between armies, expressing his hope that the COVID-19 pandemic will soon be contained so that the upcoming CISM programmes will take place as scheduled.

Delegates looked into the operation of the council in 2020 and its planned activities for the 2020-2023 period.

They also reached consensus on time and venues for some CISM tournaments next year, and voted to approve relevant documents.

Founded in 1948 in Nice (France), the CISM is one of the largest multidisciplinary organisations in the world. The council organises various sporting events for the armed forces of its 136 member countries and is one of the global sports organisations in which the largest number of disciplines is represented./.

More Vietnamese citizens flown home from Europe

Nearly 280 Vietnamese citizens were brought home from Europe on a flight operated by the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines on October 22-23.

The flight was the joint efforts of competent Vietnamese agencies at home and abroad, and local authorities.

The passengers included children under 18, students who completed courses, the elderly, pregnant women and workers with expired visas and contracts.

The Vietnamese Consulate General in Frankfurt had helped the citizens with boarding procedures.

Strict security, safety and epidemiological measures were implemented during the flights to ensure passengers’ health and prevent the spread of diseases.

After landing at Van Don airport in the northern province of Quang Ninh, the passengers and crew members had their health checked and were sent to quarantine in line with regulations.

The repatriation of Vietnamese citizens in disadvantaged circumstances abroad will continue to be conducted in line with citizens’ wishes, the development of the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine capacity in the country./.

China, Mekong River Commission sign hydrological data provision agreement

China and the Mekong River Commission (MRC) on October 22 signed an agreement under which China will provide the MRC with year-round hydrological data, contributing to better river monitoring and flood and drought forecasting in the Mekong countries, according to the MRC.

MRC Secretariat Chief Executive Officer An Pich Hatda described the agreement as a landmark in the history of China-MRC cooperation.

He said that as water infrastructure operations in the basin and tributaries are increasingly contributing to river flow changes and fluctuations that can impact riverine communities, more operational data sharing will be critical to the management of the Mekong River.

Over the last 18 years, China has shared its water level and rainfall data during June – October in the flood season from two hydrological stations located in China’s southwestern Yunnan province.

But in the context of worsening droughts, the MRC has asked China to provide year-round data so as to help with identifying the cause of low-level water on the river.

In August this year, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang pledged to share more hydrological data with regional countries./.

Thai Nguyen eyes stronger hi-tech agriculture cooperation with Israel

A workshop discussing closed agricultural solutions for farmers was held on October 22 in the northern province of Thai Nguyen by the provincial People’s Committee and the Israeli Embassy in Vietnam.

In his speech at the event, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Duong Van Luong briefed participants on geographical features, socio-economic development, potential and strengths of Thai Nguyen for agricultural development.

He expressed his hope that via the workshop, local enterprises, farmers, and agricultural production cooperatives will be introduced and supported in implementing closed agricultural models for farmers through Israel’s high-tech engineering model.

Cooperation activities between partners of Thai Nguyen and Israel will be an important foundation for the Vietnamese locality, the embassy, and Israeli partners to build long-term cooperation relationships during the time to come, he said.

Israeli Ambassador Nadav Eshcar highly valued the recent cooperation between the two countries in general and between Thai Nguyen and Israel in particular in the fields of education-training and trade, saying that he hopes the collaboration between the two sides will be further strengthened in the future, especially in hi-tech agriculture.

Israel is willing to support Thai Nguyen in introducing new and modern technologies to local farmers, he affirmed.

Over the last five years, Thai Nguyen has cooperated with Israel in education-training and research. Particularly, since 2014, the Thai Nguyen University has sent nearly 900 students to Israel for internships in high-tech agriculture.

In 2020, the Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry received an automatic and economical watering system in net house for intensive cultivation of vegetables and flowers funded by the Israeli government.

At the seminar, Israeli agri-businesses introduced hi-tech agricultural models such as family-scale greenhouse; irrigation system for farm house, and equipment to turn organic waste into electricity.

Previously, the ambassador and representatives of Thai Nguyen province cut the ribbon to launch the automatic and economical watering system in net house at the Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry. This project has a total budget of over 20,000 USD, with half funded by the Israeli government./.

ADB: MSMEs key to post-COVID-19 recovery in Southeast Asia

A new report from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) shows that strengthening the dynamics of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) with innovation and internationalization will be key to revitalizing Southeast Asian economies devastated by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The bank’s Asia Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Monitor (ASM) 2020 said MSMEs are a critical driving force in Southeast Asian economies, accounting for an average of 97 percent of all enterprises and 69 percent of the national labor force from 2010 to 2019. They contributed an average of 41 percent of each country’s gross domestic product over the same period.

“MSMEs in Southeast Asian economies mainly focus on domestic markets and their level of entrepreneurship remain suboptimal. Supporting the development of MSMEs, particularly in technology adoption and participation in global supply chains, will contribute to inclusive growth and aid in recovery efforts from COVID-19,” said ADB Chief Economist Yasuyuki Sawada.

He expressed his belief that ASM 2020, which provides a rich set of data and analyses on MSME development in Southeast Asia pre-COVID-19 pandemic, would become a benchmark in helping design feasible government assistance for MSMEs amid a new normal in the region.

The first volume of ASM 2020, released on October 22 at a virtual launch attended by ADB Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development Bambang Susantono, presents a detailed assessment of financial and nonfinancial issues facing MSMEs in Southeast Asia at both the country and regional levels. It also analyses policies and regulations surrounding MSME development and access to finance in each country in Southeast Asia.

Key findings from the report’s second volume, to be released on October 28, examines the impact of COVID-19 on MSMEs in Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines, and Thailand based on rapid surveys conducted from March to May this year./.

At least 11 killed in landslide in central Indonesia

Indonesian authorities said on October 22 that at least 11 people were killed after a landslide occurred in a coal mine in South Sumatra, central Indonesia, a day earlier.

According to the Provincial Disaster Management Agency, the incident happened at 4pm of October 21 (Indonesia time) in an unlicensed coal mine in Muara Enim district.

The landslide occurred when the miners were opening an access to reach a site in the mine.

There were no rains during the accident and the condition of the soils at the hill around the incident site is unstable.

The bodies of all the victims have been retrieved./.

Close to 12 mln USD allocated to refill national rice stockpile

VIETNAM NEWS OCTOBER 25

The National Assembly (NA)’s Standing Committee has adopted a resolution on additional funding for the purchase of rice to refill the national stockpile.

A total of 274 billion VND (11.8 million USD) from the 2020 State budget will be used to purchase the rice and offset volumes taken from the stockpile for emergency relief and assistance from June 1, 2019 to May 31, 2020.

The purchase will come to 23,000 tonnes.

The NA Standing Committee also urged relevant ministries and agencies to properly and effectively manage and use national reserves.

Earlier this week, the Government decided to assist five central provinces hit hardest by the devastating floods in recent days, with 5,000 tonnes of rice sent from the national stockpile. Each province will receive 1,000 tonnes.

The historic flooding had killed 111 people and left 22 missing as of October 21, according to the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control./.

Airlines, railway ramp up activities to support flood-hit provinces

VIETNAM NEWS OCTOBER 25

Vietjet provides free transportation of relief goods on flights from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi to Quang Nam, Da Nang, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Binh and Nghe An.(Photo: VNA)

Vietnamese carriers and the railway sector have carried out a wide range of activities to support central localities where people are suffering heavy losses from devastating floods.

Low-cost Vietjet decided donate 10,000 VND for each ticket sold from now to November 21 to help people in the flood-hit region. The donated money will be transferred to authorities and charity funds to buy essentials as well as to support residents in flood-affected areas to restore their lives and overcome the hard time.

Additionally, since October 19, Vietjet has been providing free transportation and priority for relief goods on the earliest flights which departure from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi to airports in Chu Lai (Quang Nam), Da Nang (Da Nang), Phu Bai (Thua Thien Hue), Dong Hoi (Quang Binh) and Vinh (Nghe An).

The airline also gives free air tickets to officials of the Vietnamese Fatherland Front and People's Committees of provinces and cities who have duties at the central region during this period.

Meanwhile, representatives from the Vietnam Airlines Group (including Vietnam Airlines, Pacific Airlines and Vasco) said the carriers have delivered over 24 tonnes of relief items sent by the Vietnam Fatherland Front and Vietnam Red Cross Society at all levels as well as organisations and individuals across the nation to flood victims.

The group will continue to increase transportation capacity to the central region, and transport more than 100 tonnes of relief goods free of charge.

Besides, its staff has donated 800 million VND (over 34,400 USD) to help flood-hit localities.

Despite difficulties in infrastructure and transportation, the railway sector has joined efforts to support the central region by shipping relief goods free of charge. As of October 21, some 30 tonnes of goods were transported to Hue Station in Thua Thien-Hue province, Dong Hoi Station in Quang Binh province and Dong Ha Station in Quang Tri province.

Floods that began on October 6 in the central region have killed more than 100 people and left many missing. Thousands of homes have been submerged and thousands of hectares of crops have been damaged./.

HSBC, WWF Vietnam join hands to recover submerged forests

HSBC Vietnam has teamed up with World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) Vietnam in rolling out a project worth 10 billion VND (431,800 USD) to recover submerged forests at the Ca Mau Cape National Park in the southernmost province of Ca Mau.

The five-year project strives to retrieve 150 ha of natural submerged forests, in the hope of handling severe challenges on climate change, water security, water pollution and food security, together with health care and natural hazard risk management.

HSBC Vietnam CEO Tim Evans said that his group has endorsed environmental conservation activities for the sake of future generations.

The project is expected to support Vietnam to fulfil its commitment on greenhouse gas emission reduction in keeping with the Paris Agreement.

In addition, it will help the country raise nationwide forest coverage.

The impact of climate change would severely affect the biodiversity of mangrove forests across the country, experts have said.

Vietnam is one of the five countries most vulnerable to climate change while the Mekong Delta region, Vietnam’s rice granary, is among the three large deltas in the world worst hit by that weather phenomenon./.

More children in HCM City hospitalised for respiratory disorders

Many private health clinics and public hospitals in HCM City are crowded with child patients, most of whom have respiratory disorders.

Dr Trần Anh Tuấn, head of respiratory diseases department at the city Children’s Hospital 1, told Tuổi trẻ (Youth) newspaper that the department had more than 400 child patients, but had only 140 beds, so many patients had to share a bed.

Sixty to seventy per cent of the 400 children are from other provinces and cities, according to Tuấn, and 70 per cent are under 12 months old. Most of them have bronchitis or pneumonia.

The hospital’s examination rooms for outpatients are also crowded, with many patients suffering from inflammation in the upper respiratory tract.

Huỳnh Minh Thu, head of general planning department at the Children’s Hospital 2, said the hospital had also seen an increase in the number of children with respiratory diseases.

According to Tuấn, changing weather and continuous rains have caused the increase in respiratory disorders. Children with asthma can especially be affected.

If children are lethargic or are under 2 months old and stop feeding or consume less than a half of the normal amount of milk, they need to be taken to the emergency room immediately.

Children aged more than 2 months who have convulsions and are vomiting also should be brought to hospitals, as well as those with other symptoms such as cyanosis.

If they have difficulty breathing or have rapid and shallow breathing, or feel breathless even when resting, they may have pneumonia, so they need to go to the hospital.

If children have a high fever of over 39 degrees C for two days or more, they should be brought to a hospital. Besides respiratory diseases, other diseases like dengue fever and viral fever are breaking out now.

If children have a cough that does not go away for more than seven days, or they are coughing up mucus or blood, they should also be taken to the hospital. 

HCM City universities support students from flood-hit areas

Colleges and universities in HCM City have announced financial support plans for students from the central region to help them overcome difficult times.

HCM City University of Economics will cut final semester tuition fees for students from the north-central coast by 50%.

 

The Industrial University of Ho Chi Minh City also pledged to reduce 50% of the tuition fees for about 700 students from the central region. Students from remote and mountainous areas who already enjoyed a discount will continue having their tuition fee reduced if they are from the flood-hit areas.

HCM City International College and the Bach Khoa College announced that they will reduce 50% of the tuition fee for first-year students from the central region. The Banking University of Ho Chi Minh City will provide 250 scholarships that worth VND1m (USD43) each student.

Ho Chi Minh City University of Agriculture and Forestry said they were listing the students from flood-hit areas and students with difficult backgrounds to provide them with scholarships that worth a total VND700m (USD30,000). Trade University said they will support each student from Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue VND10m.

The HCM City University of Technology is calling for donations to help the flood victims. Depending on the situation, students from the central region will be supported VND5m (USD215) to VND10m.

Youth unions and clubs at various universities also have their own programmes to raise funds for the flood victims. The Youth Union and Students Association at Saigon University have launched a programme to call for donations for flood victims in the past week.

"Donations will be sent directly to the official channels and organisations that are providing help to the people in the central region," said Huynh Ai Thy, vice head of the Youth Union at Saigon University.

The Youth Union at Van Hien University has called for donations to the central region. Besides money, they also called for donations of clothes, school supplies and other items.

The Environment and Society Club of the University of Medicine and Pharmacy collaborated with the Youth Union at the Quang Tri Radio and Television Station to buy necessities and transport them to Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue.

Life jacket scarcity following historic central region floods

The central region’s flooding has resulted in a sharp rise in demand for life-jackets.

Over the past few days, Quan Anh in HCM City’s Go Vap District has failed to find a life-jacket supplier. He said that some shops told him that they had sold out three days ago.

An owner of a life-jacket shop in District 5 said that a life-vest for children is priced at between VND30,000-60,000 (USD1.3-2.17), depending on different sizes. However, only smaller sizes are currently available.  

She offered the life-jackets at half price for people who bought them for flood-ravaged victims in central localities.

According to Nguyen Minh Hai who owns a life-vest shop in Hoan Kiem District in Hanoi, lots of charity groups have visited her shop to buy life-jackets to donate to flood-hit areas in the past four days. Some wanted to buy up to 1,000 life-jackets.

Nguyen Thuy in Quang Ninh Province wants to buy around 500 lifejackets for her charity programme, but has been informed that she would have to wait for some days to come.

Taking advantage of this tragedy, many shops have increased lifejacket prices by 2-3 times.

The Hanoi Department of Market Management has tightened control over business activities related to the flood response efforts, including life-jackets.

Huge flood damage to central region transport infrastructure

VIETNAM NEWS OCTOBER 25

A section of National Highway 1A in Ha Tinh

Many bridges and roads in the central region of Vietnam have been damaged by prolonged flooding.

According to the Road Administration Department of Vietnam, total losses are estimated at around VND350 billion (USD15.21 million) and it would take at least one year for many localities to deal with the consequence.  

By late Thursday, the water receded on the section of National Highway 1A in the central provinces of Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue so vehicles can go through more easily. However, lots of other national highways through the two localities have still faced landslides.

In many areas, holes of up to 30-70 metres have appeared on roads or roads have been covered by tens of thousands of cubic metres of soil and stone, totally blocking traffic. For instance, some 16 kilometres of Ho Chi Minh Highway in the central region have been severely damaged; meanwhile, landslide and erosion in Quang Binh Province has cracked the road surface and broke the Cha Lo International Border Gate Station.

Tran Quang Thanh, an official from the Road Administration Department of Vietnam, said that rain had stopped in the central region, however, many areas have been soaked by the water for days, so it was still challenging for authorities to deal with landslides and rescue.

The department is seeking the Ministry of Transport’s approval for funding VND100 billion (USD4.34 million) for repairing damaged roads.

Thanh noted that the department sent staff from three companies to the central region for clearing roads affected by floods; however, the rescue has met with many difficulties due to narrow terrain and the severe inundation.

The rescue has focused on main roads first and will then expand to smaller ones. If the weather is fine, it would take at least one month to clear all flood-hit roads in the central region.

Foreign leaders extend sympathy over severe floods in central region

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday extended his sympathies to the Vietnamese Government and people over the losses from flooding and typhoon in central Việt Nam.

“The Government of the United States expresses its deepest condolences to the Government and people of Việt Nam as they mourn those who perished due to significant flooding in the central region of Việt Nam as a result of Tropical Storm Linfa,” the US diplomat said in a statement.

“The US government stands ready to assist Việt Nam in addressing the damage caused by the floods, and we send our deepest sympathies to all affected by this tragedy, including the many thousands who were displaced.”

Previously, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) affirmed immediate assistance worth US$200,000 to support efforts to respond to severe flooding in Việt Nam and Cambodia. 

USAID is working with the Việt Nam Red Cross  to provide emergency assistance to people affected by the floods. In addition, it provides long-term funding for programmes that reduce the risk and impact of disasters throughout Southeast Asia.

Premier of the State Council of China, Li Keqiang on Thursaday sent a message of sympathy to Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc in relation to the natural disasters.

The same day, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan also extended their sympathy to Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh.

According to the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, flooding that began on October 6 had killed 111 people and left 22 missing nationwide as of 7am on October 21. Some 371ha of rice paddies have been submerged, 7,126ha of crops damaged, and over 700,000 heads of cattle and poultry killed or swept away.

The floods also inflicted substantial damage upon local agriculture, irrigation, property and transport infrastructure. 

Mangrove forest to be replanted in Mũi Cà Mau National Park

Some 150 hectares of mangrove forest will be replanted in Mũi Cà Mau National Park in the southern province of Cà Mau by 2025 under a five-year forest restoration project.

The project, with funding of VNĐ10 billion (US$431,000), was launched on Thursday by HSBC Việt Nam in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) - Việt Nam.

According to the WWF, the 150ha mangrove forest will be regenerated by applying newly developed natural mangrove regeneration technology to ensure the highest possibility of tree growth.

When reaching maturity, the forest will be able to sequestrate at least 20,000 tonnes of carbon per year, reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) levels.

The mangrove trees will also form a buffer between the land, sea and rivers, helping maintain this patch of the Mekong Delta and shield it from natural disasters.

Additionally, the forest is expected to provide protection from flooding for more than 10,000 households and improve their fisheries spawning ground by up to 350-390 tonnes of seafood per year.

This project will also introduce best management practices for alternative livelihoods among communities living in the buffer zone of the national park.

Another component of the project will feature an education programme on forest protection and biodiversity conservation for about 3,000 households in the core zone of the national park, raising their awareness about conservation issues.

The project is expected to help address serious socio-environmental challenges, such as climate change, water security, water pollution, food security, human health and disaster risk management in the province and the Mekong Delta.

Within the scope of the project, HSBC alongside conservationist experts from the WWF- Việt Nam will develop a far-reaching and innovative programme aimed at nurturing the vulnerable ecology of Mũi Cà Mau National Park, the Mekong Delta and beyond.

The project is hoped to support Việt Nam’s commitments to the Paris Agreement, which targets to reduce 8 per cent emissions by 2030 or 25 per cent with international support, and assist the country’s pledge to increase forest cover to 45 per cent.

“We intend to actively contribute to Việt Nam’s efforts in tackling climate change, which is a critical issue facing the country,” said Tim Evans, CEO of HSBC Việt Nam.

By investing in the project, we will help build Việt Nam’s resilience against natural disasters and climate change so that families, communities and businesses can thrive in the future, he said.

Mũi Cà Mau National Park is a key area in the Cà Mau World Biosphere Reserve, one of Việt Nam’s RAMSAR sites (wetlands of world importance). Founded in 2003, and covering an area of 41,862ha, the park is home to a diverse ecosystem with more than 400 species, including more than 40 endangered species such as otters, fishing cats and reticulated pythons. 

Vietnam attends International Inter-Party Forum SCO+

Hoang Binh Quan, Head of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations, attended the online International Inter-Party Forum SCO+ (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) on October 22-23.

Themed “Economy for People”, the event drew heads of State, leaders of ruling Parties and ministries, and businesspeople and scholars from 40 countries and organisations in Asia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Quan highlighted Vietnam’s consistent policy of placing the people in the centre of every development policy and strategy. The country therefore posted positive results in fulfilling the duel goals of combating COVID-19 and sustaining economic development.

It was the result of joint efforts by the entire political system and people from all walks of life, reflecting public trust in the Party and the State as well as the close bonds between the Party, the State, the Government, and the people, he said.

He suggested countries and political parties pay attention to medical security and coordinate at the regional and global level to effectively cope with pandemics, especially COVID-19.

The official called for enhancing cooperation and preventing discrimination, ensuring public access to COVID-19 vaccine, and upholding the role of multilateral mechanisms in stepping up anti-pandemic efforts.

Discussions at the event focused on digital transformation for the benefit of the people, support for the green economy via Party channels, the role of political parties in the fight against the socio-economic toll from COVID-19 and dangerous communicable diseases, and inter-regional socio-economic cooperation among SCO countries.

Participants stressed the need for sustainable, constructive, and comprehensive cooperation between political parties and governments./.

PM honours General Department of Defence Intelligence

VIETNAM NEWS OCTOBER 25

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, on behalf of the Party and State, presents the General Department of Defence Intelligence under the Ministry of National Defence, with a first-class Fatherland Protection Order on October 23. (Photo: VNA)

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, on behalf of the Party and State, presented the General Department of Defence Intelligence under the Ministry of National Defence, with a first-class Fatherland Protection Order on October 23, in recognition of its contributions to building and safeguarding the country.

Since it was founded 75 years ago, the General Department of Defence Intelligence has fulfilled its mission as a strategic intelligence unit of the Party and State and a specialised arm of the Central Military Commission and the Ministry of National Defence, PM Phuc said in his remarks at a Hanoi ceremony to present the honour and mark the agency’s 75th founding anniversary (October 25, 1945).

He urged the General Department of Defence Intelligence to constantly promote its working-class nature and revolutionary spirit, put all of its operational orientations and activities under the leadership of the Party, and preserve the special trust of leaders of the Party, State and armed forces.

It must grasp and creatively implement the Party’s views and policies in defence and military affairs in order to keep leaders of the Party, State, Central Military Commission, Ministry of National Defence, and other ministries and localities fully informed about the situation and help them fully handle emerging issues, the PM said.

The government leader added that the agency should also take measures to develop a leaner force of skilled, professional, and effective intelligence agents with firm political bravery and strategic vision./.

Public security force sent to southern battlefields receives hero title

The Central Public Security Party Committee and the Ministry of Public Security on October 23 held a ceremony to bestow the title "Hero of People’s Armed Forces" to the public security force sent as reinforcements to the southern battlefields during the anti-America war.

In his remarks at the event, Minister of Public Security Gen. To Lam said the Party, State and Vietnamese people are always grateful for the contributions made by the South's security force, including the reinforcements sent to the southern battlefields in the war.

He urged the Central Public Security Party Committee, the Ministry of Public Security and local public security units to continue well implementing social welfare policies designated for people who rendered services to the nation, including the public security force sent as reinforcements to the southern battlefields, and their families.

Lam hoped that the senior public security officers will further uphold their revolutionary bravery and morality to overcome hardships and contribute more to the cause of national construction and protection.

He also expected that the senior officers will devote to the development of public security forces and be shining examples for today’s generations.

The minister called on all public security officers to actively take part in rescue operations in flood-hit areas in central Vietnam and raise funds to support affected people.

As many as 906 public security officers were killed on duty across battlefields in the south while 46 others were arrested and imprisoned by American troops during the past war. Hundreds of them were wounded or exposed to Agent Orange/Dioxin./.

Urban railways help cut greenhouse gas emissions: JICA survey

Urban railways are an effective means of transport that will help cut greenhouse gas emissions in Hanoi and HCM City, which have both experienced serious air pollution in recent years, according to a survey by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The survey was conducted from February 2019 to September 2020 regarding Hanoi’s metro lines No 1 and No 2 and HCM City’s metro line No 1, which are being built using Japanese ODA, and was released at a workshop in Hanoi on October 23.

JICA experts estimate that Hanoi’s metro lines have the potential to lower carbon emissions by more than 94,000 tonnes per year, while the southern hub’s line may contribute a 56,877-tonne reduction each year.

JICA Chief Representative Murooka Naomichi said he hopes the survey will help raise public awareness about the importance of metro lines in major cities like Hanoi and HCM City.

Along with satisfying local people’s travel demand, metro lines also contribute to realising Vietnam’s target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 9 percent by 2030 compared to the Business-As-Usual Scenario under the updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), which was recently submitted to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, he said.

At the workshop, Director of the Ministry of Transport’s Department of Environment Tran Anh Duong spoke highly of JICA’s support, adding the survey will be used to complete the transport sector’s measurement system.

According to a recent interview, 81 percent of people living along HCM City’s metro line No 1 and 66 percent of those along Hanoi’s metro line No.1 said they are willing to change from their usual means of transport and take the train.

Number of drug users in Philippines decreases sharply after three years

The number of drug users in the Philippines has declined by more than half from 4 million in 2016 to 1.67 million in 2019, three years after President Rodrigo Duterte launched a crackdown on drug use, a survey has shown.

The country’s Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) recently released the survey on the patterns and trends of drug abuse results conducted from December 2019 to February 2020.

In a televised address to the nation on October 19 evening, Duterte cited the survey saying around 1.67 million or two out of 100 Filipinos aged 10 to 69 are using drugs.

Duterte warned drug users and dealers anew to stop, saying the bad habit endangers the national security.

The DDB said the survey shows a clear significant decline which can be attributed to the success of the government's anti-drug campaign and steadfast priority given by the government to create drug-free communities under the Duterte administration.

About 65.8 percent of the respondents are aware of the government's campaign against illicit drugs. Of those who are aware, 81.6 percent support the campaign, the DDB said.

Respondents of the survey are Filipinos aged 10 to 69 randomly selected from 9,341 households in all the 17 regions of the country./.

Ha Giang, Ninh Thuan provinces to receive crop seeds

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has decided to provide seeds from the national reserve to the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang and the south-central province of Ninh Thuan, to support people hit by natural disasters and drought this summer and autumn.

He assigned the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to provide 15 tonnes of rice seeds, 25 tonnes of maize seeds, and 4.5 tonnes of vegetable seeds to Ha Giang, which has been seriously affected by natural disasters during the year.

Ninh Thuan, meanwhile, will receive 37 tonnes of maize seeds, 2 tonnes of vegetable seeds, and 600 tonnes of rice seeds from the national reserve, supporting its efforts to recover from drought in this year’s summer-autumn crop.

The PM also asked the ministry to take responsibility for the accuracy of data in its reports on the task.

The People’s Committees of Ha Giang and Ninh Thuan provinces were asked to allocate and use the seeds in a timely manner in line with regulations./.

ASEAN SDG indicators baseline report launched

The ASEAN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Indicators Baseline Report and an online database portal for ASEAN SDG indicators were released at an online event on October 23.

They are part of an initiative to set up an ASEAN statistical information system on sustainable development, proposed by Vietnam as the ASEAN Chair in 2020.

General Director of the General Statistics Office Nguyen Thi Huong said the initiative aims to form a synchronous statistical information system on sustainable development, ensuring sufficient information supply for the monitoring and assessment of sustainable development in the ASEAN Community.

It also looks to enhance partnerships in the implementation of SDG indicators, improve member countries’ capacity for collecting and processing data, and promote the ASEAN Statistics Division (ASEANstats)’s coordinating role.

Thanks to member countries’ efforts, ASEANstats’ proactiveness, and assistance from the ASEAN Working Group on SDG Indicators and the ASEAN Regional Integration Support from the European Union (ARISE) Plus project, the baseline report has been completed and the online database portal established, Huong noted.

Julia Tijaja, Director of the ASEAN Integration Monitoring Directorate at the ASEAN Secretariat, said the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many countries around the world to numerous difficulties this year. Facing that fact, they have set targets to recover and attain the SDGs.

Via the baseline report and database portal, regional countries can swiftly recover and work towards a future of sustainable development, she said.

To ensure the monitoring and assessment of SDG realisation in the region, the GSO suggested member countries uphold the proactiveness of the ASEAN Working Group on SDG Indicators; frequently update data on SDG indicators; and mobilise support from international organisations, development partners, non-governmental organisations, businesses, and society as a whole in monitoring and assessment./.

Indonesia extends sympathies over calamity-caused losses in central Vietnam

The Government and people of Indonesia on October 23 extended sympathies through the Indonesian Foreign Ministry to the Government and people of Vietnam over the human and material losses caused by the recent flooding in Vietnam's central region.

In the message, they offered deep condolences to the bereaved families and expressed belief that the Government and people of Vietnam will soon overcome this tough challenge.

According to the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, flooding that began on October 6 had killed 111 people and left 22 missing nationwide as of 7am on October 21. Some 371 ha of rice paddies have been submerged, 7,126 ha of crops damaged, and over 700,000 heads of cattle and poultry killed or swept away.
The floods also inflicted substantial damage upon local agriculture, irrigation, and transport infrastructure./.

Vietnamese embassy in UK raises fund for flood-hit people at home

The Vietnamese Embassy in the UK on October 23 launched a campaign to raise fund to support calamity-hit people in the central region of Vietnam.

Addressing the event, Ambassador Tran Ngoc An expressed sympathies to locals in the central region over the great losses in human lives and property due to the serious and prolonged flooding.

He called on the embassy staff, the Vietnamese community in the UK and local friends to join hands in assisting the disaster-hit people to overcome the consequences of the disaster and stabilise their lives.

Responding to the call, all staff of the embassy donated one day of their salary to the fund which also received the donation of the Vietnamese Students’ Association in the UK and the Vietnam-UK Network. Total fund raised at the event was over 5,000 pounds (over 6,520 USD).

According to the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, flooding that began on October 6 had killed 111 people and left 22 missing nationwide as of 7am on October 21. Some 371 ha of rice paddies have been submerged, 7,126 ha of crops damaged, and over 700,000 heads of cattle and poultry killed or swept away.

The floods also inflicted substantial damage upon local agriculture, irrigation, and transport infrastructure.

The Vietnamese Embassy in the UK will also carry out more activities to call for donation to the fund to help people in the central region to overcome difficulties.

Vietnamese in Thailand, Czech Republic support homeland flood victims

As much as 660,000 baht (19,200 USD) was raised by Vietnamese expats in Thailand’s Udon Thani province to support flood victims back in the homeland in a programme held on October 23.

According to Chairman of the Vietnamese Association in Udon Thani Luong Xuan Hoa, the organisation aims to raise a sum worth about 1 billion VND to help residents in the central region overcome consequences of the recent natural disaster and soon stabilise their lives.

Meanwhile, overseas Vietnamese living and working in the Czech Republic handed to representatives of the Vietnam Fatherland Front including 920 million VND for the flood victims and 100 million VND for poor people in the homeland.

Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Ambassador Thai Xuan Dung highlighted the significance of the fund-raising programme, and appreciated the role of the association in mobilising donors to support residents hit by floods in the central region.

Previously, on October 21, all staff of the embassy also donated money to support flood victims in the homeland./.

 
 

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