Illustrative photo (Source: nhandan.com.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) – An international cuisine festival, the sixth of its kind was held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Service Department for Diplomatic Corps at the Van Phuc Diplomatic Compound in Hanoi on December 9.

Opening the annual event, Ambassador Nguyen Nguyet Nga, who is spouse of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and sponsor of this year’s edition, thanked international friends, embassies, ASEAN Women's Circle of Hanoi and businesses for their participation and contributions to the festival’s charity activities in recent years.

The festival featured 130 booths run by 90 units from embassies and foreign organisations in Vietnam, agencies of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and businesses in the northern and southern regions. Guests included ambassadors, representatives of foreign cultural organisations, the media, and local authorities nationwide.

In addition to food – pre-made or prepared on the spot, handicrafts, local specialties, folk art performances from Vietnam and foreign countries were also available, with proceedings going to charity.

The festival, held as an informal diplomatic activity, is a prominent cultural exchange event between units in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with foreign embassies, international organisations in Vietnam, provincial and municipal Foreign Affairs Departments and a number of enterprises.

From previous editions, it raised donations worth nearly 2 billion VND (85,800 USD) to support disadvantaged people, particularly the disabled, orphans and poor women, in nearly 10 provinces and cities nationwide.

The funds raised from the festival supported the construction of a kindergarten in the northern mountainous province of Yen Bai and a bridge in the southern province of Long An. Ten scholarships were gifted to poor students in the southern province of Ba Ria – Vung Tau from its donations, while organisers paid charity visits to northern provinces to support ethnic minority students and disabled children in Ha Giang, Vinh Phuc, and Nam Dinh.-VNA