Vietnam committed to supporting Myanmar: Foreign Minister hinh anh 1Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son (centre) attends the conference (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam shares the difficulties that the country and people of Myanmar are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic and hopes that ASEAN countries, partners and the international community will join hands to help Myanmar and its people overcome the challenges.

Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son made the statement at a pledging conference to promote humanitarian assistance to Myanmar held virtually on August 18.

Son welcomed the timely organisation of this event, affirming that this is an important step in implementing the five-point consensus reached at a meeting of ASEAN leaders in April this year.

The Foreign Minister appreciated the contributions of ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi, Coordinator for Humanitarian Assistance of ASEAN and the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance (AHA) relating to the issue.

Vietnam is committed to providing initial support to Myanmar with medical supplies worth 100,000 USD, he said.

ASEAN countries and partners also pledged about 9 million USD to assist the country.

At the conference, the ASEAN Secretariat and AHA Centre presented a humanitarian assistance strategy for Myanmar. It is divided into two phases including "lifesaving" humanitarian assistance, focusing on COVID-19 pandemic response, and implementing humanitarian assistance measures to "stabilise life".

Humanitarian support activities for Myanmar will be led by ASEAN. The ASEAN Secretary-General and the AHA Centre will be responsible for receiving and coordinating assistance from ASEAN countries, partners and the international community, ensuring that these aids are distributed in a timely, efficient and transparent manner to the people of Myanmar.

In the near future, ASEAN will focus on the first phase. Specifically, it will mobilise supplies of vaccines, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and related items for Myanmar. The first aid shipment is expected to arrive in the country before August 31.

An ASEAN Coordinating Group will be set up and stationed in Yangon to supervise and assist in the effective coordination and transfer of medical support to the local people. 

ASEAN will also survey real demand to promptly make appropriate adjustments in the implementation of the following steps, as well as preparing for the second phase of the strategy, which is expected to be conducted next year./.