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“Power of NO” – a regional initiative to raise awareness on drink driving targeting Southeast Asian young adults

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Power of NO campaign material. — Photo courtesy of AIP

While the world’s attention is on the coronavirus pandemic, an even more deadly and hidden epidemic rages on: road collisions caused by drink driving. Road crashes are the #1 killer amongst young adults. And alcohol is estimated to be a contributory factor for 1 in 3 fatal collisions globally. Road crashes are not simply a matter of life-or-death for individuals, but they result in huge economic losses to all, workforces, public health, and social equality.

There is a strong need to raise awareness amongst young adults on the dangers of drink-driving and promote a change in behaviour.  The Automobile Association of Việt Nam (AA Việt Nam, a member of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile or FIA) has collaborated with Asia Pacific International Spirits and Wines Alliance (APISWA), and creative agency Orès to launch the Power of No public awareness campaign over the past year. The campaign is supported by the European Chamber of Commerce in Việt Nam (EuroCham), and the Wines and Spirits Sector Committee (WSSC), the Việt Nam Association for Responsible Drinking (VARD), Protec helmet manufacturing, the US-ASEAN Business Council (USABC), and the EU-ASEAN Business Council (EUABC).

By working together adaptively and transparently, this partnership team recruited over 20 partners from the private, public, and government sectors to bring an impactful campaign to six countries: Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Việt Nam.

The first six weeks of the campaign produced an impactful commercial video that has proven resonance across all six target markets. While the Facebook campaign aimed to spread awareness to 10 million people, in fact, the Power of No team reached over 23 million people with messages of drink driving’s risks and empowerment to say no. This includes about 5 million people interacting directly with local Facebook pages to generate over 380,000+ likes, comments, shares, and clicks. 

As the Power of No campaign continues to grow and evolve, Greig Craft (President of Automobile Association of Việt Nam and President of FIA Asia Pacific Region), and Patrick Madenjian (Managing Director of Moët Hennessy Southeast Asia’s Emerging Markets and co-Chair of WSSC) shared with Việt Nam News their thoughts and commitment toward achieving meaningful, tangible change in drink driving culture.

 

Patrick Madenjian, Managing Director of Moët Hennessy South East Asia emerging Markets and co-Chair of WSSC

According to the WHO, road crashes in the Asia Pacific region claim the lives of 2,000 people each day; up to one-third of fatal road collisions involve alcohol as a contributing factor. The Power of NO campaign implemented in 6 ASEAN countries has contributed significantly to raise the awareness of the people around drink driving. Could you share with us how the campaign has been adapted to fit six very different countries?

Patrick Madenjian (Managing Director of Moët Hennessy Southeast Asia emerging Markets and co-Chair of WSSC): Addressing drink driving and promoting a culture of responsible drinking, is a vital part of the work that we do at industry level through the Việt Nam Association for Responsible Drinking (VARD). We believe that targeted interventions can support Việt Nam’s overall policy approach to addressing harmful drinking and have a role to play in this regard.

A partnership approach is key to any success, especially when working in multiple countries as has been the case with the Power of No campaign. Delivered in 6 Southeast Asia markets, the campaign garnered the support and collaboration of more than 20 local and regional partners from trade associations, government and NGOs. Our partners were crucial to the success of the campaign by ensuring it was locally relevant and amplifying it in-market.

Moreover, their ownership of the campaign added the needed credibility and visibility vis-à-vis relevant stakeholders. The results and reach of the Power of No is a testament to their efforts.

 

The campaign targeted young adults in 6 countries to empower them to take the lead to influence and redefine the norms on drink driving. What is your vision for the next generation of young drivers?

Patrick Madenjian: We are excited to be embarking on a second phase of this campaign and continuing to grow the Power of No in Asia. We recognise that young adults in the region are vulnerable to road collisions caused by drink driving. Continuing to raise awareness of the risks and empower them to redefine the norms on drink driving therefore remains a priority and a long-term commitment.

Moreover, our long-term goal is to support governments meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3 to halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road crashes by 2030. We believe focusing our efforts on young drivers and road users is critical to help meet this goal in Southeast Asia where young adults generally represent a large part of the population.

Therefore, our vision for the next generation of young drivers and road users at large is to empower them to safeguard their future by equipping them with the tools and knowledge to make the right decisions to choose not to drink if they drive, and to choose not to drive if they drink. 

 

Greig Craft, President of Automobile Association of Việt Nam and President of FIA Asia Pacific Region

As a person who has been active in road safety for a long time, do you have anything to share about the current status in Việt Nam, especially about the crisis to tackle drink driving norms in Việt Nam?

Greig Craft (President of Automobile Association of Việt Nam and President of FIA Asia Pacific Region): I started AIP Foundation with the simple mission of protecting vulnerable road users with life-saving interventions. Since our founding 23 years ago, we have dedicated ourselves to reducing road traffic fatalities and injuries in low-and-middle-income countries.

When I first arrived in Việt Nam in 1989, the country was at a pivotal moment, soon to become one of the fastest-growing economies in Southeast Asia. As the economy grew, so too did the number of vehicles. Fatality rates continue to disproportionately impact low-and-middle-income countries across Asia, especially in Việt Nam, even though the Government has endeavoured to curb traffic crashes.

While great progress has been made, many of the same issues continue to harm the general road users. Substandard helmets – which offer zero head protection – continue to plague our local markets. This is as unethical as selling fake medicines. Drink driving also continues to rise.

This irresponsible behaviour is not only a matter of life or death for individuals but has an adverse impact on GDP for developing countries. WHO reports have demonstrated that 32 per cent of men’s road crash injuries and 20 per cent of women’s road crash injuries are related to alcohol in Việt Nam, and road crashes continue to be the leading cause of death for children and young adults.

This is the reason why the Automobile Association of Việt Nam, along with our partners have created the Power of No campaign to promote responsible drinking behaviours with the hope to make roads safer.

 

Drink driving is indeed an urgent issue, and it is important for stakeholders to find a solution to solve the problem quickly. In addition to implementing public awareness raising campaigns to normalise responsible drinking behaviours, what do you think about establishment of strong sanctions to reduce drink driving violations?

Greig Craft: Improving road safety and preventing crashes is a matter of universal importance across the spectrum – from government agencies, industries, and philanthropies, to multinational organisations and corporations, including committed members of the community and media such as yourself. Different partnerships and collaborators provide a variety of strengths and offer various innovative approaches, practices, and tools to improve road safety.

The Government and policy makers play a central role to set the road safety standards through legislation. It also involves active engagement in constructing traffic rules and regulation, enforcement, adequate driver training, and public education about road safety.

The establishment of strong sanctions is imperative to reduce drink driving violations and all road safety enforcement. The ticket fines will influence a driver’s decision and limit the cases of recidivism. However, those solutions only work to make people nervous to get caught, not to prevent drink driving in the first place.

Training and educating about the harms of drink driving to raise people’s awareness is equally crucial to normalise responsible drinking behaviours among road users and empower them to confidently say NO to drinking and driving. —


 

About Automobile Association of Việt Nam (AA Việt Nam)

AA Việt Nam was founded in 2017 as a leading membership organization that aims to provide a wide range of products and offerings with international quality standards for Việt Nam’s road users. AA Việt Nam services include professional roadside assistance (including car towing service); insurance policies; travel packages; lifestyle discounts; and road safety advocacy in Việt Nam and overseas. With the increasing numbers of automobiles on the road – 13 per cent growth per year – AA Việt Nam envisions itself as a quality service provider to ensure the safety and comfort of passengers on the road. In collaboration with the National Traffic Safety Committee, the AA Việt Nam is well positioned to advance road safety initiatives. In 2018, the AA Việt Nam collaborated with the FIA to launch the #3500Lives campaign to raise awareness of safe driving practices as 3,500 people are killed on the world’s roads every day. AA Việt Nam is a member of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) with leadership role in FIA Asia-Pacific regional projects on advocacy and community safety.

 

About Wines and Spirits Sector Committee (WSSC)

Wines and Spirits Sector Committee represents the biggest international companies in the wines and spirits sector in Việt Nam. The committee focuses on common interests of its members including market access, tax, policies, marketing, intellectual property, food safety and alcoholic beverage social policies. The Wine & Spirits Sector Committee cooperates with local and national authorities on promoting self-regulation and good citizenship. In addition, the committee represents the sector in assisting, discussing, and negotiating with the authorities regarding issues such as taxation, importation and distribution, marketing, and so on.

 

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/society/1252042/power-of-no-%E2%80%93-a-regional-initiative-to-raise-awareness-on-drink-driving-targeting-southeast-asian-young-adults.html

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Northern Vietnamese provinces seek approval for construction of airports

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Authorities in Lai Chau and Son La Provinces, northern Vietnam are seeking the prime minister’s approval for the construction of airports there.

In a document sent to PM Pham Minh Chinh, the Lai Chau People’s Committee mentioned its plan to build Lai Chau Airport, which is designed to cover 167 hectares and have the capacity of 500,000 passengers per year, in Tan Uyen Town during the 2022-30 period.

The administration stressed that the project plays an important role in promoting the province’s socio-economic development as well as contributes to ensuring national defense and security in border areas.

The province has carried out necessary land use planning and site clearance to attract the interest of investors in the project.

Some investors are mulling over implementing the project under the public-private partnership (PPP) model.

PPP involves a contract between a public sector authority and a private party, in which the private party provides a public service or project and assumes financial, technical, and operational risk in the project.

In order to ensure the legal basis and favorable conditions for the construction of the airport, the Lai Chau People’s Committee requested the prime minister to give the green light to the project and authorize the administration to initiate it.

The Son La People’s Committee has also submitted a document to the premier to seek approval for the construction of Na San Airport under the PPP model.

The airdrome is expected to have the capacity of one million passengers by 2030.

The provincial administration previously coordinated with relevant sectors to study the possibility of building the airport with the state budget or capital of the Airports Corporation of Vietnam, but both options were deemed to be very challenging.

The province thus considered using resources from the private sector.

In May 2021, Him Lam JSC suggested a plan to build the airdrome under the PPP model.

During the first phase, Na San Airport is expected to handle up to one million passengers and 350 metric tons of cargo a year, with the cost of the construction estimated at VND2.56 trillion (US$109.4 million).

In the second phase, an expansion costing VND468 billion ($20 million) will be carried out, and the airport capacity will increase to two million passengers a year.

The construction of Na Sa Airport is expected to run from the third quarter of 2023 to the fourth quarter of 2025.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20220814/northern-vietnamese-provinces-seek-approval-for-construction-of-airports/68581.html

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Low-cost meals for the underprivileged in Ho Chi Minh City

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Budget eateries offering each meal at a mere VND1,000 (US$0.04), VND5,000 ($21), or for free in Ho Chi Minh City are warming the hearts of low-income workers and disadvantaged people amid surging goods prices.

Situated at 317 Trung My Tay 13 Street in District 12, Ho Chi Minh City, the eatery run by Tran Thi Dung and her husband serves offal porridge for disabled and elderly people and lottery ticket vendors.

Tran Thi Dung recounted that three years ago, her husband was severely injured in a traffic accident so she took him to their hometown for care and treatment.

When he was in good health again, they returned to the city to do business.

The couple decided to open a low-cost eatery as a way to lend a helping hand to the underprivileged.

“We charge no money to customers who are disabled and sell lottery tickets, but some still pay VND5,000 for their meal as they don’t want to be indebted to anyone.

“Receiving their thanks for our acts makes me happy and indefatigable.”

Another charity venue at 61 Nguyen Chi Thanh Street in District 11 is serving vegetarian dishes at VND5,000 each.

The eatery owned by Tran Phuoc Hoa is a popular haunt of the disadvantaged people in the city.

Sometimes, philanthropists give financial support to the eatery, so it not only charges no money to poor people but also launches a ‘Buy One Get One Free’ program.

“I opened the vegan eatery in 2013 with an aim to share the hardship with the poor and encourage them to choose a vegan lifestyle,” Hoa said.

“High- or medium-income customers can pay the same price for their meal, while dishes are given to the poor free of charge.”

He strongly believed that he would receive luck and happiness in return for his kindness.

Nguyen Van Phuoc, who resides in Binh Tan District and has worked as a motorbike taxi driver for 30 years, said, “I have been a loyal customer of the VND5,000 vegan eatery for a long time.

“Dishes are changed every day.

“Having meals there helps me save a lot of money for supporting my family amid soaring prices.”

Sitting in Alley 221/10 on Phan Van Khoe Street in District 6, the VND1,000 porridge eatery called ‘Come Here,’ which is run by Thai Cong Minh and his wife, is also a charitable site for students and low-income laborers.

“I have sold porridge for 20 years,” Minh said.

“The eatery is open from 3:30 am to 8:00 pm each day.

“Each ladle of porridge costs VND1,000, while the prices of side dishes range from VND3,000 to VND5,000.

“The eatery mainly serves poor people and low-income workers such as lottery ticket sellers, so I will not spike the prices at this time to retain customers and partially support them amid this ‘price storm.’”

Free or VND5,000 bowls of porridge warm the hearts of the disadvantaged in Ho Chi Minh City amid rising goods prices. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tien Phong

Free or VND5,000 bowls of porridge warm the hearts of the disadvantaged in Ho Chi Minh City amid rising goods prices. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tien Phong

Tran Phuoc Hoa’s VND5,000 vegan eatery, which offers takeout, is a popular haunt of poor people in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Phuong/ Tien Phong

Tran Phuoc Hoa’s VND5,000 vegan eatery, which offers takeout, is a popular haunt of poor people in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Phuong/ Tien Phong

At budget eateries, customers with high or low income can pay the same price. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tien Phong

At budget eateries, customers with high or low income can pay the same price. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tien Phong

Nguyen Van Phuoc, who lives in Binh Tan District, Ho Chi Minh City and has worked as a motorbike taxi driver for 30 years, is one of the VND5,000 vegan eatery’s loyal customers. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tien Phong

Nguyen Van Phuoc, who lives in Binh Tan District, Ho Chi Minh City and has worked as a motorbike taxi driver for 30 years, is one of the VND5,000 vegan eatery’s loyal customers. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tien Phong

The porridge eatery named ‘Come Here’ owned by Thai Cong Minh in District 6, Ho Chi Minh City charges VND1,000 per ladle amid the current ‘price storm.’ Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tien Phong

The porridge eatery named ‘Come Here’ owned by Thai Cong Minh in District 6, Ho Chi Minh City charges VND1,000 per ladle amid the current ‘price storm.’ Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tien Phong

Apart from porridge as the main dish, Thai Cong Minh’s eatery also serves side dishes such as radish stir-fried with pickles and fish sauce, dried fish, Vietnamese caramelized fish sauce dip, and salted eggs. Photo: Ngoc Phuong/ Tien Phong

Apart from porridge as the main dish, Thai Cong Minh’s eatery also serves side dishes such as radish stir-fried with pickles and fish sauce, dried fish, Vietnamese caramelized fish sauce dip, and salted eggs. Photo: Ngoc Phuong/ Tien Phong

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20220814/lowcost-meals-for-the-underprivileged-in-ho-chi-minh-city/68583.html

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Vietnam’s tank team competes in International Army Games in Russia

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Vietnam competed in the qualifying round of the tank biathlon category within the framework of the International Army Games 2022 in Moskva, Russia on Saturday, the Vietnam News Agency reported.

This year’s tank biathlon event attracts the participation of 61 crews of 21 teams, divided into two groups.

The first group consists of teams from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Venezuela, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, China, Uzbekistan, and Mongolia, while the second is comprised of Abkhazia, Armenia, Zimbabwe, Iran, Laos, Mali, Myanmar, Syria, Sudan, Tajikistan, and South Ossetia.

Teams in Group 1 will compete in the qualifying round to select the top eight to enter the semi-final round and then the best four for the final round.

Meanwhile, those in Group 2 will only join a round-robin format.

Crew No.1 of the Vietnamese tank team completed their task on Saturday, destroying four targets out of five and finishing the race after 34 minutes 53 seconds.

Meanwhile, crews from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan annihilate all five targets and finished the race after 25 minutes 57 seconds, and 25 minutes and 18 seconds, respectively.

The Venezuelan rivals destroyed only one target and finished their competition after 47 minutes 5 seconds.
Crews No. 2 and 3 of the Vietnamese tank team will compete on August 16 and 20.

First held in 2015, the International Army Games are an annual Russian military sports event organized by the Ministry of Defense of Russia.

This year’s edition will run from August 13 to 27 at the military training grounds in twelve countries: Russia, Azerbaijan, Algeria, Armenia, Belarus, Venezuela, Vietnam, Iran, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, and Uzbekistan. 

More than 260 teams from 35 countries join the 2022 Games.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20220814/vietnams-tank-team-competes-in-international-army-games-in-russia/68582.html

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