SOCIAL IN BRIEF 4/3

March 4, 2009

German-funded healthcare project launched; Water supply plan targets rural poverty; Evangelical church convenes congress; Victims of trafficking helped to return home; Vietnamese man found murdered in Germany

German-funded healthcare project launched

 

A seminar was held in Hanoi on March 3 to plan a project to improve the performance of the provincial public healthcare system with funding from the German Government.

The project is under the framework of an agreement between the Vietnamese and German Governments on a financial cooperation programme worth EUR10 million and a technical cooperation programme costing EUR2.5 million.

According to the agreement, the German Government will grant Vietnam EUR2.5 million in non-refundable aid from October, 2008 to December, 2011 through the German Development Bank KFW and German Technical Co-operation GTZ, with the purpose of strengthening the provincial public health system in Yen Bai, Thanh Hoa and Phu Yen provinces.

The project aims to support the establishment of plans and the management of the public health system at all levels to enhance the performance of public health sector at district and communal levels, facilitate people’s access to healthcare, improve the quality of health services, and give priority to mothers and children.

Water supply plan targets rural poverty

Construction of the US$50 million Phan Ri-Phan Thiet Irrigation Project, funded with official development assistance (ODA) from the Japanese Government, kicked off yesterday.

“The project, once completed, would be able to contribute to rural poverty alleviation through improvement of agricultural activities in the Bac Binh District area,” said Chief Representative of the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) Tsuno Motonori.

The project aims to increase agricultural production in Bac Binh District, Binh Thuan Province. Project components include: Development of irrigation and drainage facilities in order to meet irrigations demand; Implementation of a settlement programme and rural development for improvement of social infrastructure and; Strengthening of agricultural extension services and capacity building for irrigation management.

This project, upon completion, would supply water to more than 13,000ha through utilisation of water discharged from the Dai Ninh Hydropower Station, which was constructed by the Electricity of Viet Nam (EVN) by an ODA loan from JICA as well.

As a result of the merger between JBIC ODA Loan and JICA in October 2008, the new JICA is now able to extend three schemes of Japanese ODA: Technical Assistance, ODA loans and Grant Aid. This will help JICA to provide high-quality international co-operation to meet the needs of people in Viet Nam.

Evangelical church convenes congress

Over a thousand members of the Evangelical Church of Viet Nam (South) from 34 southern cities and provinces gathered for the third congress of the church’s general confederation in HCM City yesterday.

In a speech opening the meeting, church president Thai Phuoc Truong noted the sustainable development of the church over the years.

“Numerous branches have been established, new churches built, and pastors ordained,” Truong said.

Since the Government’s official recognition of the church in 2001, the number of branches has expanded to 1,343. In Tay Nguyen (the Central Highlands) alone, more than 1,000 sub-branches have been established in the past eight years with full support from local administrators.

“To respond to the needs of ethnic Protestants, the religious publishing house has printed more than 30,000 bilingual Bibles in Vietnamese-Bana, Vietnamese-Giarai and Vietnamese-Ede editions, along with many other religious books,” said Truong.

Nguyen Thanh Xuan, deputy head of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs, noted the achievements of the church over the past four years.

Southern Protestants have also extended their support and assistance to needy families in remote and mountainous areas. According to the Health and Social Committee of the Southern Evangelical Church, the church has created 84 medicine chests in the past four years and provided free treatment and medicine to more than 7,000 people.

The committee also helped disadvantaged communities dig more than 260 wells and build more than 420 homes during the same period.

Xuan expressed his hopes that dynamic changes would be adopted at the current congress in response to the development needs of the church and the nation.

“The changes will be based on the fine tradition of the Evangelical Church” said Xuan, who expressed his wishes that the Evangelical Church’s strong development would parallel that of the nation as a whole.

Victims of trafficking helped to return home

More than 2,500 Vietnamese victims of human trafficking were repatriated safely last year, according to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA).

The ministry says that most Vietnamese trafficking victims were women and newborn babies. Women and children are trafficked regularly from the developing world, including China, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia and Africa.

Traffickers often approach poor women and lure them into leaving the country by promising them jobs.

Le Thi Ha, deputy head of MoLISA’s department that combats social ills, says the ministry has helped 254 human trafficking victims who returned home last year.

The ministry has also provided free health check-ups and treatment, preferential loans and new jobs for the victims to help them re-integrate into society.

MoLISA this year plans to improve awareness of human trafficking in rural and remote areas, and help local authorities set up a centre to aid human trafficking victims.

The centre will co-operate with Government agencies to identify the victims’ addresses and relatives in a good time so they can return home as soon as possible.

Vietnamese man found murdered in Germany

A 45-year-old Vietnamese man was found dead with a stab wound to the neck at his restaurant in Saxony, Germany, last Saturday.

Nguyen Xuan Quy, born in northern Thai Binh Province, went to Germany on a labour contract in 1988. He and his wife ran a restaurant in Rohrsdorg, Chemnitz City, for five years.

Police arrested 55-year-old Ronald D, a German citizen, on his way home in Vogtland the same day on suspicion of murder.
Ronald D was formerly a successful athlete who placed well in several winter sporting events. He was an acquaintance of the victim.

The Chemnitz Court is holding the suspect until police complete their investigation.

Diarrhoea outbreak hits kids in Lai Chau

The number of children under five years old suffering from diarrhoea has increased sharply in the northern province of Lai Chau over the past week, according to Do Van Giang, director of the Lai Chau Hospital.

The number of diarrhoea patients increased by 10 per cent compared with the same period last year. On Monday alone, 35 children were hospitalised with the ailment.

Two children died after drinking medicine of unclear origins and died at hospital.

Unilever trains new graduates in HCM City

Unilever’s career day, which is part of its Management Trainee Programme designed for universities’ fresh graduates, will be held in HCM City on Friday.

More than 800 excellent students from southern universities are expected to attend the event which aims to help fresh graduates from universities in both Viet Nam and other countries to learn more about the Management Trainee Programme and Unilever’s corporate culture.

A similar event was held in Ha Noi last week.

Thai Binh opens school for disabled

A three-storey school for disabled and disadvantaged children has been inaugurated in Dong Hoa District, in the northern province of Thai Binh.

Dong Hoa Vocational Training School’s classrooms are fully equipped for students to learn sewing, mechanics and computer skills.

The construction of the 1,132sq.m school was helped along with US$180,000 in funds from the Al&Peggy DeMatteis Family Charitable Foundation.

VN, France open maritime course

A training course on the use of maritime organism resources opened yesterday at the Viet Nam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST) in Ha Noi with the support of the France National Centre for Science Research (CNRS).

The course, which includes lectures by 14 CNRS researchers, aims to ensure effective use of the resources by training 50 Vietnamese scientists. It is the 10th course sponsored by the CNRS during the last 10 years.

Attending the event, France Ambassador to Viet Nam Herve Bolot said he hoped the two centres could soon establish a university for science and technology research in Viet Nam.

Ha Noi tax office sets up hotlines

The Ha Noi Department of Taxation has set up 30 hotlines to receive information and feedback from the public, including notification from the public about violations by tax office employees.

Details on these hotlines are available at the website at www.mof.gov.vn.

Last year the department suspended four employees for receiving bribes. They were Tran Thi Thanh Thuy and Nguyen Kim Anh from the Hoan Kiem Sub-department and Nguyen Viet Hung and Vu Van Anh from the Thanh Xuan Sub-department.

Rangers foil snake smugglers

The An Giang Department of Forest Rangers has released 80kg of ri voi snakes into the wild in Bay Nui Forest.

The reptiles, which are protected from being hunted, were confiscated by the An Giang Police in An Phu District while being transported from Cambodia for sale in southern An Giang Province.

Earlier, on February 21, An Giang Market Watch officers confiscated 500kg of live pythons, worth about VND40 million (US$2,350), in Chau Doc Town.

Truck weighing station opens

A truck weighing station, the first of its kind in the country, was officially opened for service on Highway 1 in Trang Bom District, in the southern province of Dong Nai.

The Dau Giay Truck Weighing Station will inspect and monitor vehicular weight along the highway to enforce Ministry of Transport safety guidelines.

Road management board No 7 will operate the station in co-operation with provincial transport inspectors, police and military command.

VietNamNet/VNS/ND/VOV/CPV

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