Workshop looks to boost support for vulnerable groups hinh anh 1Dong Huy Cuong, Secretary-General of the Vietnam Peace and Development Foundation, speaks at the workshop (Photo:

Hanoi (VNA) – An international workshop was opened by the Vietnam Peace and Development Foundation (VPDF) and Germany’s Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung in Hanoi on October 23 to encourage the further involvement from society to support vulnerable groups.

In his introductory speech, Dong Huy Cuong, Secretary-General of the VPDF and deputy head of the department for multilateral affairs under the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations, said Vietnam, a war-torn country which is also prone to natural disasters, is now in the process of industrialisation and urbanisation. Therefore, the number of people in vulnerable groups is very big.

He cited statistics of the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) that vulnerable groups account for more than 20 percent of the country’s population. About 9.2 percent of them are the elderly, 7.2 percent are persons with disabilities, and 5 percent are in low-income families.

They also include about 1.5 million children with special backgrounds, 1.8 million households that need support due to natural disasters, fires and lean harvest, 234,000 discovered HIV patients, 204,000 drug addicts, and 30,000 domestic violence victims.

These groups are facing a number of challenges and barriers relating to their interests, responsibility, self-esteem, health care, education, information, employment, capital, and support systems, Cuong noted.

Over the past years, Vietnam has issued concrete policies to support vulnerable groups, non-governmental organisations of Vietnam and other countries have also launched many programmes and projects to assist them. However, because of both objective and subjective reasons, there remain limits of these groups’ access to the help of the State and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Pham Dai Dong, head of the policy and social assistance division at the MOLISA’s Department of Social Assistance, noted ensuring social welfare is an important task of the whole political system and the entire society. Models of social support must be diverse and include both material and spiritual support. 

Social support should be shared by the State and the society, and it should ensure that persons encountering risks receive timely assistance from the State, organisations and the community, he added.

Sharing her country’s experience, Iris Assenmacher – Counsellor in charge of social issues at the German Embassy in Vietnam – said the German Government’s viewpoint on social welfare for the disabled is to combine regulations and policies in all fields, from social assistance, social insurance to employment aid, while respecting their self-determination.

At the two-day workshop, participants are set to discuss such issues as the reform and development of social assistance in Vietnam, Germany’s social support system, local NGOs’ experience in supporting vulnerable groups, ASEAN’s social support for the disabled, and social support for migrant workers.-VNA