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UNDP assesses difficulties for disabled during pandemic



Medical staff give a dose of COVID-19 vaccine to a man with a disability in Ward 1, HCM CIty’s Phú Nhuận District. — VNA/ Photo Quang Châu

HÀ NỘI — About 67 per cent of people with disabilities said they felt secure and received support during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent assessment.

Nine per cent of people with disabilities said they felt lonely during the pandemic, and 38 per cent said they lost their job and had no income.

The results were in the ‘Rapid Assessment of Socio-Economic Impacts of COVID-19 to Persons with Disabilities in 2021’, which was announced by the UNDP and the Action to the Community Development Centre (ACDC), at a virtual meeting on Thursday.

The assessment was conducted in September 2021 with the participation of 1,792 people with disabilities in 63 provinces and cities, said Đỗ Thanh Huyền, a UNDP public-policy expert.

Of the people surveyed, 91 per cent were from the Kinh group – the main ethnic group of Việt Nam, and the rest from ethnic minorities, she said.

Nguyễn Thị Lan Anh, president of the ACDC, said the assessment showed that the pandemic has substantially impacted people’s lives in the country, especially those with disabilities.

She said that people with disabilities were among the most vulnerable groups suffering from the pandemic.

Career opportunities for people with disabilities have been reduced, and health care activities have also decreased due to the pandemic, she said.

Lường Thị Hải Yến, a woman with visual impairment and owner of a massage shop in Long Biên District, Hà Nội, said the pandemic had severely disrupted her family’s life for two years.

The income from her shop was sharply reduced because it had to close for a long time, she said.

Yến said she had felt distraught because she had no money to raise her children when the shop closed.

Nguyễn Thị Yến Nhi, a hearing-impaired woman working in a soup shop in HCM City, said when she was infected with COVID-19 she received a text from the health centre to instruct her to take care of herself, but could not fully understand it.

“When reading the message there were some words, such as negative and positive, I did not comprehend,” she said.

But people around her failed to explain the words to her using sign language, she said.

Finally, Nhi asked a relative who knows sign language to explain via a video call.

Nhi said she wished she could access more information about the pandemic via sign language to learn about preventing the spread of the pandemic.


Đào Thu Hương, a disability and inclusion officer at UNDP, said a comprehensive assessment from State agencies about the impact of the pandemic on people with disabilities was needed.

More support for people with disabilities should be provided in the future, she said.

Hương also said international organisations and domestic associations for people with disabilities should provide more support in terms of policies. Moreover, the Government should set up more social services to support people with disabilities, especially women and girls.

It is imperative to run sign-language news on national television channels so that people with disabilities can easily find information, she added.

Đinh Mẫn, from the Sponsoring Association for People with Disabilities in Thừa Thiên-Huế, recommended that the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs as well as the Government have a separate support package for people with disabilities affected by the pandemic.

Speaking at the meeting, Đinh Thị Thụy, deputy chief of the National Committee for People with Disabilities, said she appreciated the assessment, but it needed to provide more specific data to better serve policy-making decisions for people with disabilities.

Thụy said, for example, that the assessment should reveal the number of fatal COVID-19 cases in people with disabilities or the severity of the disease when they get it, she added.

“Is the situation of the people with disabilities infecting COVID-19 worse than for able-bodied people infected with COVID-19?” she said.

“We need more specific data for making recommendations for policy-makers.” 

Associate Professor Nguyễn Hiền Phương, deputy head of Hà Nội Law University’s Comparative Law Institute, said the assessment would help researchers and policy-makers to gain more data to issue suitable policies for the disabled in future.

Phương suggested that authorised agencies kick-off a team of social workers who specialise in helping people with disabilities.

Việt Nam has 6.2 million people with disabilities. —



Belgian parliamentarian André Flahaut presents gifts to AO victims in Vietnam



Belgian parliamentarian André Flahaut on November 30 handed over to the Vietnamese Embassy in Brussels four wheelchairs and four walkers as gifts to Agent Orange/dioxin (AO) victims in the central province of Quang Tri.

Belgian parliamentarian Andre Flahaut presents gifts to AO victims in Vietnam hinh anh 1Belgian parliamentarian André Flahaut (middle), Ambassador Nguyen Van Thao (R) and Tran To Nga, an oversea Vietnamese in France and an AO victim at the ceremony to hand over the gifts (Photo: VNA)

Brussels – Belgian parliamentarian André
Flahaut on November 30 handed over to the Vietnamese Embassy in Brussels four
wheelchairs and four walkers as gifts to Agent Orange/dioxin (AO) victims in
the central province of Quang Tri.

Ambassador Nguyen Van Thao thanked Flahaut for the warm
sentiments that he and the group of Belgian parliamentarians sponsoring a resolution on support for Vietnamese AO victims approved by the Belgian parliament in October, have shown towards
Vietnamese AO victims.

The diplomat highly appreciated the efforts and
contributions that Flahaut has made, together with other parliamentarians,
organisations and individuals in Belgium as well as international friends, to
assist AO victims in Vietnam.

For his part, Flahaut affirmed that he will exert
every effort to bring good things to AO victims in Vietnam with the hope that they
will have a better life.

The Belgian lawmaker showed his delight at the growing ties
between Belgium and Vietnam over the years with many high-ranking visits, most
recently the Belgium visit by Vietnamese National Assembly Vice Chairman Tran
Thanh Man.

Flahaut used to be President of the Belgian Chamber
of Representatives. In December 2021, he submitted to the Belgian parliament a
resolution on supporting AO victims in Vietnam, which was approved by the Belgian
Chamber of Representatives on October 5 with 100% approval votes. The Belgian parliament is the first parliament in the world to adopt a resolution supporting AO victims./.


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In Vietnam, restaurant returns mistakenly transferred money



A restaurant in Thanh Hoa Province, north-central Vietnam has found a customer who mistakenly transferred VND270 million (US$11,140) for a VND270,000 ($11.1) meal to return the spare amount, the restaurateur said on Thursday.

Hoang Hiep, the owner of Lan Ngan Restaurant in Thanh Hoa City under the namesake province, had earlier asked for netizens’ and media agencies’ help to find the customer who made the error.

On Thursday afternoon, the customer, named H.T.T.T., 40, residing in Nghi Son Town, Thanh Hoa Province, contacted the restaurant after reading its notification on social media and in newspapers.

T. had returned to Vietnam after working in Taiwan and had lunch at Lan Ngan Restaurant on Friday last week.

When making the payment, she was not aware that she had transferred VND270 million to the restaurant’s account.

Her personal information and the money transfer time coincided with those of the customer transferring the money to the restaurant.

The restaurant also checked its CCTV footage to confirm that T. was the customer that it was seeking.

The restaurateur asked her to come to a local police station to receive the money on Friday morning.

Hiep said that many imposters had contacted his restaurant attempting to take the money.

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Vietnam, France share experience in modernising public services



Representatives from the Vietnamese Ministry of Home Affairs and the French Ministry of Public Transformation and Service exchanged experience in modernising public services, reforming administrative procedures, and raising digital transformation capacity, at a symposium in Hanoi on November 30.

Vietnam, France share experience in modernising public services hinh anh 1A view of the symposium. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi –
Representatives from the
Vietnamese Ministry of Home Affairs and the French Ministry of Public
Transformation and Service exchanged experience in modernising public services,
reforming administrative procedures, and raising digital transformation capacity, at a symposium in Hanoi on November 30.

The event formed part of the cooperation activities
between the two ministries to mark the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam-France
diplomatic relations and the 10 years of the bilateral strategic partnership.

In her opening remarks, Minister of Home Affairs Pham
Thi Thanh Tra stressed that Vietnam always advocates accelerating administrative
reform and the modernisation of public services, considering this a
breakthrough for national development.

Administrative reform must serve the interests of
people and businesses, placing their legal and legitimate rights and interests at
the centre, and promoting innovation, for rapid, sustainable national
development, the official stressed.

Tra expressed her belief that the symposium will
contribute to tightening the friendship and cooperation between the two
countries, saying the two ministries will carry forward their cooperation
outcomes and enhance experience sharing in the time ahead.

French Minister of Public Transformation and Service
Stanislas Guérini pointed to challenges regarding demography, digital transformation
and ecology, noting that both France and Vietnam face demography-related issues
given their declining birth rates and aging populations, which requires the
sector to take suitable changes.

For digital transformation, the minister said that it
has brought about great opportunities to French administrative agencies in
particular and others around the world.

Participating experts, scientists, and managers
from Vietnam and France evaluated achievements, as well as challenges in public
service modernisation, administrative reform, and digital transformation
capacity improvement in both nations.

They shared experiences, new models and policy
orientations to work towards building a professional, modern, streamlined,
effective, and efficient administrative sector./.


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