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Making a Difference Stories

Setting REDD+ up for success

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shutterstock 222513934Forests are a fundamental pillar of Viet Nam's sustainable development and prosperity. They provide multiple services for the country's economy and society, yet not all are visible. Forests also regulate climate and water cycles as well as prevent land erosion, which indirectly make invaluable contributions to the national economy as well as people's livelihoods and resilience, especially vulnerable members of society such as women and ethnic minorities. The value of this resource is being increasingly understood in Viet Nam, with national forest cover increasing from 20% in 1975 to 42% today. However, this expansion is slowing and hiding some important disparities. Natural forests are being converted at an alarming rate, which is eroding invaluable potential economic and environmental benefits.

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Empowering communities through tourism in central Viet Nam

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shutterstock 77308795Destinations like Hoi An, Hue and My Son frequently appear on the bucket list of some of the world's most discerning tourists, but thanks to technical support from two specialized UN agencies, tourism is making a real and lasting impact in local people's lives.

In 2015, ILO and UNESCO worked together to help formalize the tourism value chain by helping to establish a number of community cooperatives. By providing services that meet local demands and building on existing local capacities in Hoi An, My Son and Hue, valuable jobs have been created and local people are already benefiting from improved livelihoods. This innovative approach is helping to drive sustainable economic development in communities and surrounding areas.

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Harnessing the power of data for decision-making

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one-1911The year 2015 was a crucial time for Viet Nam as the country developed the socio-economic development plan for the next five years, reported on final MDG achievements and prepared to make the transition to the SDGs.

Although the Government of Viet Nam continues to emphasize the importance of evidence-based policy development and implementation there are growing concerns about the quality, availability and accessibility of disaggregated data.

In spite of the country's comprehensive legal system and socio-economic development progress, Government capacity in evidence-based and people centric policy and programme development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation remains limited.

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Young Makers in Vietnam work to change the lives of Children with Disabilities

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UNICEF Viet Nam\2016\Truong Viet HungFrom June 3rd to 5th 2016, 7 teams consisting of over 70 young people including designers, engineers, artisans, medical professionals and children with disabilities gathered on the campus of the Vietnam-German University (VGU) in Binh Duong, Vietnam to contribute to a better world. For 72 hours these youth participated in the inaugural T.O.M:Vietnam Makeathon (www.fb.com/TOMVietnam2016) to apply their skills to design and prototype open source solutions for children with disabilities. 

 

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In Viet Nam, engaging male advocates to prevent violence against women and girls

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Tran Van_Chuong
26-year old Tran Van Chuong frequently awoke to the telltale sounds of his neighbor’s wife being beaten by her husband. 26-year old Tran Van Chuong frequently awoke to the telltale sounds of his neighbor’s wife being beaten by her husband. Their arguments would start quietly but escalate quickly as his neighbor turned to physical brutality, leaving his wife sprained and scraped. This was not an uncommon problem in their urban community in Da Nang, a major central Viet Nam port city of one million people.
Da Nang, April 2016 - In Viet Nam, violence is accepted as a disciplinary tool for men to establish their authority over the women in their lives – as long as it occurs in the privacy of the home, according to qualitative research supported by UNFPA and Partners for Prevention Joint Programme.

In fact, more than half of women in Viet Nam report experiencing violence at some point in their lifetime, according to the Government and the United Nations’ National Study on Domestic Violence Against Women in Viet Nam. This violence is shown to have serious physical and mental health consequences, with abused women up to three times more likely to contemplate suicide.

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The Revised Child Law: the Opportunity for Viet Nam to consolidate its pioneering stand on child rights

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Ha Noi, 01 April 2016 - A child is any person under 18 years of age. This is the definition given by the International Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and it’s also the definition agreed by all but a handful of States in the world. Viet Nam is a pioneer globally in upholding child rights as it was the first country in Asia to ratify the Convention in 1990, and the second country in the world. The global leadership role on child rights has been reaffirmed with Directive No. 20 issued by the Politburo of the Central Committee in 2012 aiming at strengthening care, education, and protection of children.

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An UPSHIFT Journey - From Kosovo to Viet Nam

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All participants, mentors and UPSHIFT Organizers. UPSHIFT Workshop © UNICEF/Innovations Lab Ho Chi Minh/UPSHIFT Workshop/Truong Viet Hung/ November 2015Enter UPSHIFT Social Impact Workshop

In 2014, UNICEF launched the first UPSHIFT program ever in Kosovo. UPSHIFT seeks to create youth-led social impact programs by providing them with the necessary skill training, financial resources and mentorship. The Kosovo program achieved some impressive results: More than 126 youth-led projects have been implemented, more than half of which continue even after their engagement with the Lab comes to a close. From these 126 projects there are approximately 61,056 youth directly involved or directly benefited, and 120,630 youth are indirect beneficiaries of these projects.

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Clipper race crew visit UNICEF supported children's centre

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Opened in May 2011 with the financial support of Unicef, and managed by the Da Nang Association for Victims of Agent Orange (DAVA) and volunteers, the day care centre receives over 90 children with disabilities every day.

There are an estimated 1.3 million children with disabilities in Vietnam, making it one of the largest groups of vulnerable children in need of special protection. The city of Da Nang is particularly affected as its population was exposed to Agent Orange during the war with the United States.

Unicef works with the government of Vietnam, and in particular the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Education and Training to improve services offered to children with disabilities and build on the model of Da Nang to scale it up nationwide. 

Clipper Race crew and staff have raised over £166,000 for children in need around the world since Race Start. The aim is to raise £300,000 by Race Finish. Click here to donate and help the Clipper Race’s aim to support children in danger around the world. 

Read the full story here

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Clipper Race Crew Visit UNICEF Day Care Centre In Da Nang For Children With Disabilities

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Clipper Race delegation visits the The DAVA Centre supported by UNICEF in the Hoa Vang District of Da NangClipper Race CEO William Ward along with crew members who are raising money for Official Race Charity UNICEFwere invited to The DAVA Centre in the Hoa Vang District of Da Nang this week to see first-hand how UNICEF supports children with disabilities in Vietnam. Opened in May 2011 with the financial support of UNICEF, and managed by the Da Nang Association for Victims of Agent Orange (DAVA) and volunteers, the day care centre receives over 90 children with disabilities every day.

There are an estimated 1.3 million children with disabilities in Vietnam, making it one of the largest groups of vulnerable children in need of special protection. The city of Da Nang is particularly affected as its population was exposed to Agent Orange during the war with the United States.

Ahead of seeing the centre, William Ward explained: “We have twelve yachts and over 700 crew who take part in the Clipper Race and a large proportion of those crew are actively raising funds for UNICEF as they race. So coming to a facility like this, which only exists because of UNICEF fundraising, and being able to meet the children it benefits every day really brings home the vital importance of our partnership.”

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UN Joint Programme Supports Mothers in small villages in Viet Nam to learn the Importance of Breastfeeding

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breastfeedingHao, 24, was encouraged to breastfeed her son by a village health workerAn Giang, 26 February 2013 - Nguyen Anh Dao, 24, breastfeeds her four-month-old daughter, Minh Anh, at her home in Binh Thanh Dong commune, An Giang province. Minh Anh is strong and healthy. Although she is only four months old, she can already stand up in her mother’s lap. “I started breastfeeding in the health centre where I gave birth,” Dao says. “The doctor put the baby on my breast after delivery. Afterwards, the village health worker talked to me about breast milk. She told me that it contains good nutrients and is best for my baby’s health.”

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Empowering Viet Nam’s women and rural poor

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sericulture"The silkworms allow me to produce sufficient silk yarn for the family weaving activities,” says Mrs. Kieu, who grows her mulberry trees on a 600 square meter plot along the riverbank. Like many Vietnamese farmers, Lang Thi Kieu, a widow who lives with her two sons and daughter-in-law, struggles to make ends meet. Farming doesn’t produce enough to support her family, so she supplements her income with weaving - but the silk she needs to make her crafts is expensive.

Now Mrs. Kieu is raising her own silkworms as part of the UN Joint Programme “Green production and trade to increase income and employment opportunities for the rural poor”. This UN Joint Programme targets about 4,800 farming and craft-producing households in four northern provinces of Viet Nam, including 1,400 beneficiaries from disadvantaged ethnic minority groups.

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Giving voice to 13,000 citizens: A unique survey in Viet Nam asks citizens about their experience of governance and public administration

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DSC 0629A face-to-face interview taking place in Dak Lak province in the Ede minority language, with the support of an interpreter June 2012 – With corruption a systemic problem in Viet Nam, a first-of-a-kind survey has asked people across the country what their experiences are of governance and public administration in the area they live.

The UNDP-supported Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI) is the largest-ever survey of its kind carried out in Viet Nam. For the 2011 index, more than 13,500 citizens were interviewed and asked about their experiences of and levels of satisfaction with provincial and local authority performance on governance and public administration reform.
“As incomes rise in Viet Nam and citizens are becoming more educated and healthier, they are also expecting and demanding better services from the government,” says Jairo Acuna-Alfaro, UNDP policy advisor and part of PAPI team.  

Yet reviews of governance and public administration reform are often ‘self-assessed’ and the actual users of public services have few opportunities to voice their opinions.

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Knowing your rights: Land compensation and access to information in Viet Nam

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DSC 0214Staff from the Legal Consultation Center visited communes affected by the irrigation project several times to provide citizens with information on their property rights June 2012 – Mr Hoang Van Khoa and Mrs Ung Duoc Lan live in Phan Lam, a mountainous commune in Bac Binh district, in the southeastern province of Binh Thuan in Viet Nam. In 2008, they lost their seven hectares of land which was to be used for a reservoir basin for an irrigation project. As a result, they were deprived of the income they earned from growing cashew nuts.

“All our farm land was reclaimed but we did not know how much compensation we would receive, so we were not able to plan for the future,” Khoa explains. “We were worried that we would not have any land for farming.”

Khoa and Lan started farming in Phan Lam back in 1996. They did not have a house of their own then. Two of their four children had to drop out of school because of a lack of money. Their third child was born with congenital heart defects, so they had to spend money on her treatment. However, the couple learnt how to plant cashews and they were soon able to harvest 3.5 tons of cashew nuts per year. This earned them about 120 million dong (approximately 5,700 US dollars) every year, and they built their house just before the land was reclaimed.

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UN Viet Nam works to develop domestic violence prevention training module for Vietnamese police

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shutterstock 90906926Ha Noi, 16 May 2012 - One third of married women in Viet Nam have suffered domestic violence, according to a national study by the General Statistics Office of Viet Nam and United Nations. Recognizing that police officers are in the frontline in the justice system's battle to prevent and protect against domestic violence, UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) and Vietnamese experts are developing a domestic violence prevention training module for police to be taught at the national People Police Academy of Viet Nam.

"Teaching about domestic violence at police training institutions is an important step to protecting victims effectively,” says Mark Lalonde, an international police training expert who supported the development of the UNODC Handbook on effective police response to violence against women. "A strong response to violence against women is a sign of a strong country, one that respects the rights of its citizens to live a life free of violence."

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Giving young people the skills and knowledge to chart a strong future

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DSC 0284-cropHa Long city, Quang Ninh Province, Viet Nam, October 2011— According to the 2009 Population and Housing Census, young people aged between 10 to 24 years account for nearly 30 percent of the population. Young people in Viet Nam are the most mobile group, as many leave home forfurther studies, while others migrate seasonally or permanently for better job opportunities. Sexual and reproductive health norms and behavior are changing rapidly among young people in Viet Nam. One-third of young people still face barriers when trying to access reproductive health information or services they require and deserve.

Reaching youth through marriage registration ceremonies

 - Dear honored guests, we are gathered here today to witness the giving and receiving of the
marriage vows.
- Do you take this woman as your wedded wife?
- Yes, I do.
- Do you take this man as your wedded husband?
- Yes, I do.
- I now pronounce you husband and wife. Before signing your marriage certificate, I would like to invite you to a counseling session on sexual and reproductive health skills and knowledge.

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Floating backpack helps children get back to school

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1Nghia at home with his floating backpack and new textbooks (Photo: Save the Children)February 2012 - When his school became inundated due to the severe flooding in Viet Nam’s Mekong Delta in October and November last year, seven-year old Nghia and his friends at the Thuong Thoi Hau A primary school in Dong Thap province could not go to school anymore.

Nghia and his parents Nguyen Van Xuan, 31, and Tran Thi Ngoc, 29, were among the 391 families from Binh Hoa Trung village in the Hong Ngu district of Dong Thap province that were affected by the flooding, which caused widespread devastation.

Houses, schools, rice fields, fruit orchards and fish ponds were entirely submerged, with water levels stagnating for more than two months. Many roads and bridges were also under water.

When the schools reopened, Nghia and his friends had to travel to school by boat. This made them feel unsafe. “I often feel scared when travelling by boat. My old bag had fallen into the water,” Nghia explains.

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Spotlight

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WORLD AIDS DAY MESSAGE 2017

1 December 2017

Michel Sidibé
Executive Director of UNAIDS
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations

This World AIDS Day, we are highlighting the importance of the right to health and the challenges that people living with and affected by HIV face in fulfilling that right.


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Community spaces design contest for an exciting hanoi

Ha Noi, October 17/10/2017 - Aiming at improving the living environment and bringing culture and art to the community towards a better urban future, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) successfully developed the project “Promote participatory, community-based and youth-led approach in safe, greening public spaces in Hoan Kiem district toward a pro-poor, inclusive and sustainable urban development” (hereinafter called Public Spaces project) under the Block by Block program with Mojang, the makers of the videogame Minecraft.

 

Deadline for round 1: From 17/10/2017 to 04/11/2017 Extended to 9 November 2017


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Harsh punishment for child offenders doesn’t prevent further criminality

The age at which a child, can be held criminally liable is a controversial issue around the world. Within Viet Nam, this issue is currently being grappled with in the Penal Code amendments. Some argue that a "get tough on crime" approach is necessary to punish children to prevent further criminality.

However, international research shows that because of their developmental stages, labelling and treating children as criminals at an early age can have serious negative impacts on their development and successful rehabilitation.


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New Year Greetings from the United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. in Viet Nam

 

On the occasion of New Year 2017, on behalf of the United Nations family in Viet Nam I wish to reiterate our appreciation and express our warmest wishes to our partners and friends throughout the country. We wish our partners and their families in Viet Nam peace, prosperity, good health and happiness in the coming year.

As we enter the second year of the Sustainable Development Goals era, we look forward to continuing our close cooperation for the sake of Viet Nam’s future development; one which is inclusive, equitable and sustainable, with no one left behind.

Youssouf Abdel-Jelil
United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. in Viet Nam


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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for World AIDS Day, observed on 1 December

 

Thirty-five years since the emergence of AIDS, the international community can look back with some pride.  But we must also look ahead with resolve and commitment to reach our goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

There has been real progress in tackling the disease. More people than ever are on treatment.  Since 2010, the number of children infected through mother to child transmission has dropped by half. Fewer people die of AIDS related causes each year.  And people living with HIV are living longer lives.

The number of people with access to life-saving medicines has doubled over the past five years, now topping 18 million. With the right investments, the world can get on the fast-track to achieve our target of 30 million people on treatment by 2030.  Access to HIV medicines to prevent mother to child transmission is now available to more than 75 per cent of those in need.