The Government encourage all organisations and individuals in the country and abroad to assist disabled people overcome difficulties to equally participate in social activities, a government official affirmed.

Deputy Minister of Labour, War Invalid and Social Affairs Nguyen Trong Dam made the affirmation at a meeting in Hanoi on Nov. 28 on the occasion of the International Day of Disabled Persons (Dec. 3).

Dam said sectors and agencies of all levels exerted many efforts in taking care of the elderly, the disabled and orphans.

The country now has about 5.3 million disabled people, making up about 6.34 percent of the population.

Since the Ordinance on the Disabled was promulgated in 1998, public awareness about the disabled people was changed, creating a favourable environment for the disabled to integrate into the community. Millions of disabled people receive regular allowances and many of them overcome their destinies, becoming businesspeople and teachers.

However, many mechanisms and policies have not been implemented well in some localities, the Deputy Minister said. He stressed that a draft law on disabled people is being considered by the National Assembly. The draft law has some new regulations to ensure the rights of the disabled, create opportunities for them to integrate into the community.

Addressing the meeting, US Ambassador to Vietnam Michael W, Michalak praised the Vietnamese Government’s efforts and cooperation with international partners, including the US, in assisting the disabled and help them to equally participate in all aspects of the society.

The meeting took place together with cultural exchange, and a job fair for the disable. Those events drew the participation of almost 2,000 disable people and representative from sectors, agencies, local and international organisations./.