The third international conference on cooperation between Vietnam and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) will take place in Hanoi from November 28-29.

The conference is scheduled to assess the outcomes of cooperation over the last decade and discuss Vietnam’s priorities and needs during the 2013-2017 socio-economic development as well as measures for cooperation in the time to come.

Relevant sides will also use the occasion to exchange information, experiences and lessons, the Committee for Foreign NGO Affairs said at a press briefing on November 21.

There will be eight seminars focusing on areas of the NGOs’ interests such as healthcare, education, socio-economic development, poverty reduction in remote and far-flung areas, vocational training and job generation, social issues, unexploded ordnance, Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin, environmental protection, climate change and natural disaster response.

Phan Anh Son, Deputy Secretary General of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Associations (VUFO), said the conference is expected to draw 750-800 guests, including representatives of NGOs, bilateral and multilateral development agencies, donors, embassies, research institutes, Vietnamese ministries, branches, provincial People’s Committees and people’s organisations.

According to Don Tuan Phong, VUFO Permanent Vice President, in the context that Vietnam has become a middle-income nation, the country has been removed from the list of priorities by several donors of overseas NGOs.

He said NGO-funded projects that target poverty reduction and sustainable development have brought about pragmatic outcomes, helping improve local people’s living standards.

The Vietnamese Party and State treasure the valuable and efficient support of governmental, non-governmental as well as international organisations, Phong said.

According to the Committee for Foreign NGOAffairs, Vietnam has established ties with around 950 foreign NGOs.

Over the past decade, NGOs have implemented more than 25,000 programmes, projects and aid packages totalling some 2.4 billion USD, with over 1.12 billion USD coming from North America, 813 million USD from Europe and more than 450 million USD from Asia-Pacific.

The assistance, which makes up 0.21 to 0.45 percent of Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP), has reached all the 63 cities and provinces across the country.-VNA