Japan helps Vietnam mitigate COVID-19 impacts hinh anh 1The Japan-funded project on “Mitigating COVID-19 Impacts on Vulnerable Populations” is launched at a ceremony on Hanoi on April 26. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Japan will help Vietnam mitigate impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable groups, thus ensuring the progress in the realisation of sustainable development goals (SDGs) in the Southeast Asian nation.

Accordingly, the Japanese Government will provide Vietnam with more than 2.8 million USD to roll out a project on “Mitigating COVID-19 Impacts on Vulnerable Populations”, which was launched in Hanoi on April 26.

The project aims to aid the Vietnamese Government’s ongoing efforts to mitigate the adverse impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations and ensure national progress in achieving the SDGs.

It is expected intervene in four areas: gender-based violence, improvements to elderly care, sexual and reproductive health care, and support for returning Vietnamese migrants.

The project will be conducted from April 2021 to March 2022 in 14 cities and provinces, namely Thai Nguyen, Dien Bien, Lao Cai, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Da Nang, Quang Tri, Quang Nam, Dak Lak, An Giang, Can Tho, Vinh Long, and HCM City.

Addressing the launch of the new project, Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Takio Yamada said the COVID-19 pandemic proved the importance of mutual understanding, the sharing of resources, and, above all, solidarity and cooperation between communities, societies, and nations in tackling the unprecedented challenges. The new project also demonstrates the good relationship between Vietnam and Japan, he added.

Though Vietnam responded to COVID-19 better than most countries, the social and economic consequences it has caused are of great concern, the ambassador went on, and vulnerable groups such as women and girls, the elderly and adolescents have been hit hardest.

Naomi Kitahara, representative of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) in Vietnam, said the challenges facing Vietnamese people, especially vulnerable groups, have become more complex due to COVID-19, which has deepened existing inequalities and exposed social gaps.

For Vietnam to achieve the SDGs, it is necessary to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and ensure that all people are part of the sustainable development process so that no one is left behind. She expects the project will represent a great leap forward for Vietnam in remaining committed to fulfilling the SDGs.

The projects will be implemented by the Vietnamese Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Home Affairs, UN agencies and other relevant sides.

It plans to establish three one-stop shop service centres, hold 10 creative and innovative campaigns on the prevention of gender-based violence amid COVID-19, and provide training for around 500 men and women on preventing and responding to gender-based violence.

Under the project, about 1,000 elderly citizens in the selected cities and provinces will be provided with high-quality health care and support services, while some 58,000 others are expected to benefit from telehealth services.

About 5,000 ethnic minority women and migrant workers will benefit from a mobile application offering information and consultation on sexual and reproductive health care.

A total of 820 service facilities will be provided with guidelines on links between reproductive health, sex and COVID-19, while 45 district-level public clinics will receive medical equipment to protect their health workers from the pandemic.

Notably, 1,000 guest workers who have to return home due to COVID-19 will join training courses on soft skills and comprehensive gender education. Some 300 returnees will get consultations in sexual and reproductive health and the prevention of gender-based violence, and 300 others will access career consultation services.

Japan is one of Vietnam’s most important economic partners and its largest ODA provider.

Japan is also the second-largest investor in Vietnam, with 4,632 projects and over 60 billion USD in capital as of the end of 2020, and two-way trade revenue standing at 39.6 billion USD last year./.