The Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) is working with relevant ministries and branches to develop a “milk for schools” programme for the 2014-2020 period.

The programme, scheduled to be submitted to the Prime Minister for approval in July 2013, will benefit two million children across the country with each of them given 200-220ml of milk a day, said a seminar in Hanoi on June 10.

Addressing the event, MoLISA Deputy Minister Doan Mau Diep highlighted the lack of micronutrients and the high rate of children under five years old with stunted growth.

He described the programme as a practical solution to fulfil national targets of reducing the rate of malnutrition among children and promote their physical growth.

Delegates at the event agreed on the need to put forth a long-term plan on the development of dairy cow farms and the milk industry to ensure the programme’s sustainability.

They also touched upon the importance of the right nutrient supplements for children, especially milk and milk formula products.

According to UNICEF, one-third of Vietnamese children under the age of five are stunted as a result of malnutrition. But Vietnam is making progress, currently leading the way in lowering rates of malnutrition.

Data from the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals ( MDG ) initiative shows that the rate of child malnutrition in Vietnam is declining by 1.5 percent every year. From 44 percent in 1994, the rate has dropped to under 20 percent at present.-VNA