President of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Associations (VUFO) Vu Xuan Hong led a delegation to visit the US from August 29 to September 5 with the aim of making the best use of the people-to-people diplomacy to promote bilateral Vietnam-US cooperation.

The Vietnamese officials met with representatives from several US agencies, non-governmental organisations and funds, such as USAID, the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, Save the Children US, Plan USA , the Ford Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation in Washington DC and New York .

They inquired international development assistance policies and priorities adopted by the US government and funds in the context of the global financial and economic crisis.

The Vietnamese officials called on US organisations, agencies and funds to prioritise their assistance to Vietnamese Agent Orange victims and people with disabilities.

They also highlighted the need of help to address environmental issues in Vietnam , including research on the impact of Agent Orange/dioxin on human health and the environment and cleanse-up operation on Agent Orange/dioxin-contaminated hotspots.

During the visit, the Vietnamese friendship officials met with US individuals who have given constant support to Vietnam in the course of normalisation of the two countries’ ties.

Over the past years, US non-governmental organisations have financed many humanitarian projects and programmes to help Vietnam address a number of issues relating to social affairs, health development, education and poverty reduction.

Last year, those organisations doled out up to 120 million USD for humanitarian projects in Vietnam and also worked to raise the US public’s awareness of Vietnam and further boost the bilateral friendship and cooperation./.