The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Office of the Standing Board for the National Committee on the Settlement of Post-War Unexploded Ordnance and Toxic Chemical Consequences (Office 701) on April 20 signed a memorandum of intent that will improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities in seven targeted Vietnamese provinces - Quang Tri, Hue, Quang Nam, Binh Dinh, Dong Nai, Binh Phuoc, and Tay Ninh.
Over the next five years, USAID and Office 701 will work with the the Ministry of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs; the Ministry of Health; local organizations; and the People’s Committees in these provinces to provide direct care, build the capacity of the rehabilitation sector, and develop community level social services.
U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Tom Udall (D-NM), Rob Portman (R-OH), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) as well as U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel J. Kritenbrink, Vice Minister of National Defense - Senior Lieutenant General Nguyễn Chí Vịnh, and USAID/Vietnam Mission Director Michael Greene witnessed the signing.
“Through this new partnership with Office 701, we know that together, we will be able to reach more people in need, succeed in creating a comprehensive care model, and truly achieve our goal of increasing the quality of life of persons with disabilities here in Vietnam,” said USAID/Vietnam Mission Director Michael Greene during the launch.
Over the course of 30 years, USAID assistance has benefited millions of persons with disabilities in Vietnam, irrespective of cause. While initial cooperation focused on direct services such as providing assistive devices such as prosthetic limbs as wheelchairs, over the years the partnership has evolved into working with Vietnam to build the modern institutional and physical infrastructure needed to help persons with disabilities well into the future.
USAID is currently continuing its disabilities assistance through eight projects which expand rehabilitation and social services, and improve policies to increase the quality of life for persons with disabilities. USAID also supports the development of local Disabled Persons Organizations and their advocacy efforts.