As many as 40 disadvantaged children who benefited from free eye surgery programmes received gifts at a ceremony on June 12 in Hanoi.

This forms part of activities under the programme for children’s eyes funded by the National Fund for Vietnamese Children (NFVC) and Prudential Life Insurance Company.

The programme, launched in 1998, has helped nearly 30,000 children across the country recover their eyesight, spending nearly 31 billion VND (1.45 million USD).

Between 2012-2014, as many as 700 children with eye defects received free treatments thanks to donations from Prudential Vietnam worth 1.6 billion VND (74,766 USD).

Under the agreement signed in October 2014 with the NFVC, the company will grant 10.5 billion VND (490,654 USD) to the free eye surgery programme from 2015-2021.

During the ceremony, Deputy Minister of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Hong Lan hailed the significant contributions the programme has made to the ocular health of thousands of children.

She highly valued the efforts of the fund and involved staff of the National Institute of Ophthalmology in the programme.

Vietnam has more than 1.5 million disadvantaged children, including 1.2 million children with disabilities, of the 26 million children across the country, according to Lan.

The National Fund for Vietnamese Children (NFVC) plans to raise 75 billion VND (3.5 million USD) this year from domestic and international resources to protect and care for children and provide educational assistance.

The target was determined during a NFVC Sponsorship Council meeting chaired by Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan, who is also Chair of the council, on March 24 in Hanoi.

According to an NFVC report, the fund mobilised a total of 97 billion VND (4.55 million USD) in 2014, exceeding its annual target by 26 percent.

Its support activities benefited over 86,800 disadvantaged children across 63 cities and provinces nationwide.

Since its establishment, the NFVC has mobilized more than 4 trillion VND (186 million USD) and aided 28 million children.-VNA