The Vietnam Red Cross Society has revealed that a campaign it ran during the 2015 Lunar New Year (Tet) presented disadvantaged people and victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin with 559 free houses and nearly 2 million gifts worth over 30 million USD, and provided 160,000 people with free medical support.

The figures were released at a closing ceremony for the campaign in Hanoi on April 14.
The campaign, named “Tet for the Poor and Agent Orange Victims” has run every year since it was first launched in 1999. To date, it has raised over 3 trillion VND (138.87 million USD), assisting 14 million poor and Agent Orange-affected households.

During Tet, the Red Cross also launched a number of additional programmes to assist the poor, including one which raised 4.7 billion VND for soldiers and locals living on islands, and the cow bank programme that presented 545 cows worth 4.36 billion VND to locals in border areas in eight localities.

During the ceremony, winners of a writing and photo contest themed “Spring of Compassion 2015” were announced. More than 500 essays and 300 photos were submitted, with the 25 best pieces of writing and the 22 best pictures honoured.

Addressing the Hanoi closing ceremony, President Truong Tan Sang lauded the Vietnam Red Cross Society for its effective humanitarian campaigns. The success also reflects the great consideration society makes for the poor, he said.

He clarified that the Party and State attach much importance to building a society of progress and equality. Poverty reduction, improved social security and care for the poor are long-term tasks, he stated, before calling for even stronger engagement from society.

He also encouraged the administrations at all levels, organisations and overseas Vietnamese groups to join with the Red Cross in charitable activities, thus giving a helping hand to more people.-VNA