UNICEF Vietnam raised 435,000 USD for supporting children in the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum at its first ever Zero awards gala in Ho Chi Minh city on December 5.

This is the first time in their 50 years of working in Vietnam, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has launched a fundraising platform to help promoting sustainable and comprehensive investment for children in Vietnam.

The funds, resulting from auctions, donations and entrance fees, will be allocated to programmes on health care, nutrition, clean water and protection of vulnerable children.

The “Zero Awards” is an initiative of Believe in ZERO, a global UNICEF campaign launched in Vietnam this year aimed at reducing to zero the amount of preventable child deaths, of exploited and abused children, of children deprived of clean water and of those denied access to school.

The gala also honoured individuals and organisations for their humanitarian work in support of children and fundraising for UNICEF.

Thanks to the assistance of UNICEF, which has operated in Vietnam for over 30 years, Vietnam has successfully eliminated polio in 2000, measles and tetanus in children in 2005 and vaccinated 99 percent of children nationwide.-VNA