Vietnam received commitments to humanitarian and socio-economic assistance from 17 new foreign non-governmental organisations (NGO’s) in the first half of the year, despite the impact of the global economic downturn on charitable giving worldwide.

This success is attributed to the great effort made by the Vietnam League of Friendship Associations (VLFA), who sent missions to Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Great Britain and Ireland and conducted a number of presentation meetings to promote fundraising drives.

As part of this effort, the VLFA Executive Committee held a meeting on July 9 to discuss an action plan for the second half of the year, including the establishment of a fund to receive aid from foreign NGOs.

Its action plan calls for intensifying the use of opportunities provided by accords signed with partners from China, Laos and Cambodia, while speeding up exchange and cooperation programmes between border provinces.

Other member countries of the Organisation of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and strategic partners including Japan, the RoK, India and Russia will continue to be in the spotlight of the VLFA action plan for the rest of the year.

Activities should focus on aid to Agent Orange/dioxin victims and poverty alleviation, emphasised the new scheme.

The nation’s leading organisation on people-to-people diplomacy also plans to continue promoting economic diplomacy and transfer of technology as well as exchange of culture and information with foreign countries.

The VLFA is also working on projects on people-to-people diplomacy in preparation for major, upcoming celebrations in 2010, especially the Thang Long-Hanoi millennium anniversary in October./.