WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin receives Vietnamese Ambassador Cao Chinh Thien (Source: VNA)

Rome (VNA) – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) wishes to foster long-term cooperative ties with Vietnam, WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin has said.

She made the statement during a reception for Vietnam’s new Permanent Representative to the WFP Ambassador Cao Chinh Thien, after the ambassador presented his credentials in Rome, Italy, on February 12.

The WFP Director expressed her admiration for the significant achievements Vietnam has made over the past years, particularly in rice export.

She also highlighted the potential for cooperation between the WFP and Vietnam in the coming time and hoped that the two sides will reach long-term commitment.

Vietnam should further participate in the WFP’s policy-making process and shared the country’s experience in using effectively the WFP’s funding with other nations, she said.

The WFP leader expressed her hope that the ambassador, as Vietnam’s representative, will make his practical contribution to consolidating and promoting the WFP – Vietnam cooperative ties.

For his part, Ambassador Thien expressed thanks for the support WFP provided for Vietnam in the past and reaffirmed that the Government of Vietnam has continuously and actively participated in the activities of the UN and the global community, particularly in charity.

He spoke highly of the organisation’s suggestion on bilateral cooperation, pledging that he will do his utmost to foster the ties between Vietnam and the WFP.

Vietnam established partnership with WFP in 1975. During two decades, from 1975 to 2000, the organisation provided non-refundable aid worth nearly 500 million USD for Vietnam in the forms of food and non-food materials in various fields, including forestry, irrigation, health care, nutrition and emergency assistance.

Bilateral ties entered a new phase since late 2000 when Vietnam became a rice exporter. The country has become a partner of the WFP, providing food in emergency aid for needy nations, including 1,470 tonnes of rice to Iraq in October 2003.-VNA