The Vietnam Association of the Elderly (VAE) convened the third national patriotic emulation congress and marked the 20th founding anniversary in Hanoi on May 5.

Addressing the event, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said the Party and State have continually attached importance to caring for the elderly and providing favourable conditions for them to continue contributing their knowledge and experience to national development.

He appreciated the VAE’s contributions to building socio-economic development policies, especially those pertaining to the elderly.

Vietnam was recognised for realising the Millennium Development Goals regarding caring for the elderly and raising life expectancy, he added, while pointing out the gap between Vietnam and other countries in this field.

VAE Chairwoman Cu Thi Hau said during 20 years of operation, the association has liaised with State agencies to design related legal regulations and policies and deliver assistance to the elderly.

At present, more than 1.5 million elderly individuals nationwide receive monthly social benefits and nearly 50 percent have been given health insurance cards. Relevant agencies also hold longevity celebrations for about 1 million people and offer aid to another 900,000 others every year, she noted.

A number of the programmes have also proven effective, such as those supporting house-building and eye surgery expenses for the disadvantaged, Hau added.

Looking forward, the VAE will coordinate with the State agencies on the national action programme on the elderly and supervise the implementation of the Law on the Elderly and related policies, she said.

During the congress, the VAE was presented with the Labour Order (first class).-VNA