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US helps Việt Nam respond to storm Linfa

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A submerged house in the central province of Quảng Bình. — VNA/ Văn Tý

 HÀ NỘI — US Ambassador to Việt Nam Daniel J. Kritenbrink on Saturday announced an initial US$100,000 in disaster relief funds to help Việt Nam cope with the consequences of tropical storm Linfa.

These funds will be provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to the Vietnam Red Cross Society (VNRC) to address the immediate humanitarian needs of vulnerable communities in areas most affected by the storm.

Linfa, the sixth tropical storm to have hit Việt Nam this year, made landfall in the central part of the country on October 11. Just three days later, another storm, Nangka, hit the northeastern region.

As of Thursday, heavy rains and serious flooding caused by both storms had killed at least 40 deaths, injuring 15 people, and leaving 29 people missing, according to the Vietnam Disaster Management Authority and American Red Cross.

About 150,000 people have been evacuated and transportation networks and agricultural livelihoods were seriously affected.

US Ambassador Kritenbrink said: “The US Mission in Việt Nam expresses our deepest condolences to the people of Việt Nam for the loss of life, destruction of property, and displacement of people due to the flooding in central Việt Nam.  We stand together with the Government and the people of Việt Nam as they mourn their loved ones, address the damage caused by this terrible flood, and move forward, as the people of Việt Nam have always done. We pledge to assist you in your work to rebuild.

“I would also like to express my concern for persons with disabilities in the provinces affected by the typhoon as they are amongst the most vulnerable populations in this disaster. They are often home-bound, have less access to information and cannot take full advantage of preparedness activities and evacuation protocols.”

It is estimated that the provinces impacted by Tropical Storm Linfa are home to over 200,000 persons with disabilities, of whom 61,000 persons with disabilities are directly affected by this disaster.

Since 2000, USAID, through the Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, has provided more than $26 million in disaster response, preparedness, and risk reduction assistance in Việt Nam.

Through the Department of Defense, the U.S. Government has also provided more than $28 million since 1998 to train military and civilian emergency responders and develop and equip disaster management centers, maritime response centers, and disaster shelters at the community level. —

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/society/793580/us-helps-viet-nam-respond-to-storm-linfa.html

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US backs a strong, independent Vietnam: Pompeo

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US backs a strong, independent Vietnam: Pompeo

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) is with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh in Hanoi, October 30, 2020. Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has affirmed his nation’s continued support for a strong, prosperous, and independent Vietnam.

Meeting his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Binh Minh in Hanoi Friday, Pompeo said he appreciated the continuous strengthening and expanding of the two countries’ comprehensive partnership on the basis of respecting each other’s independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and political institutions.

The foreign affairs ministry said in a statement that Pompeo also affirmed the U.S.’s support for Vietnam to play an increasingly important role in the region.

He also said the U.S. was committed to maintaining stable relations and continuing to cooperate with Vietnam to ensure bilateral relations progress substantially, reliably, effectively and sustainably, making a positive contribution to security, peace, cooperation and development in the region and the world.

Foreign Minister Minh said that Vietnam highly values its comprehensive partnership with the U.S., as well as the two countries’ collaboration in organizing activities to celebrate the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations despite difficulties posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The minister thanked the U.S. for its support to Vietnam, which includes a sum of $2 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in responding to the pandemic and the flooding that ravaged the central region for three weeks since October 6.

During their talks, the two officials discussed measures to further promote bilateral relations, including resumption of regular delegation exchanges, humanitarian cooperation and confronting the legacies of war, as well as increasing bilateral trade and investment on the basis of mutual benefit.

“Our everyday interactions are highlighted by increasing trade and investment ties, strategic cooperation, and collaboration on humanitarian and legacy of war issues, including the solemn duty of accounting for our wartime missing,” Pompeo said.

Minh said both sides should effectively implement an action plan towards sustainable and harmonious balance of trade and emphasized the potential for further cooperation in the energy sector. He also said Vietnam was committed to creating a favorable investment and business environment for the long term success of American businesses in Vietnam.

He suggested the U.S. continues to support the central role and solidarity of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), thus promoting the ASEAN-U.S. strategic partnership.

Pompeo expessed high appreciation of Vietnam’s role as ASEAN Chair for 2020 and a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2020-2021 term.

He expressed his wish that the two sides continue to strengthen coordination in handling common challenges, contributing to maintaining peace, stability, security and development in the region and around the world.

During his October 29-30 visit, Pompeo also met with PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Minister for Public Security To Lam.

The trip was made to “reaffirm the strength of our comprehensive partnership, celebrate the 25th anniversary of U.S.-Vietnam diplomatic relations, and discuss issues in the South China Sea and Mekong regions of mutual concern,” the U.S. Department of State said in a statement.

“We are committed to achieving fair and reciprocal trade with Vietnam, as well as an open investment climate, by reducing barriers to trade and advancing market-oriented reforms. Our collaborative work to ensure the free and fair flow of goods and investment between our two countries will result in mutual prosperity,” it said.

Vietnam and the U.S. officially normalized their relationship on July 11, 1995, 20 years after the end of the Vietnam War.

The former foes are comprehensive partners today, with bilateral trade increasing from $450 million in 1994 to $77 billion in 2019.

The U.S. is now Vietnam’s largest importer and Vietnam remains the U.S.’s fastest-growing market in Southeast Asia. Despite the adverse impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, bilateral trade value rose nearly 10 percent in the first half of this year.

Pompeo’s third visit to Vietnam is part of an itinerary that includes several Asian countries. He had previously attended the U.S.-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in New Delhi, India, and visited Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

His first visit to Vietnam was in July 2018, when he discussed with Vietnamese leaders ways to further the two countries’ partnership as well as global and regional issues of mutual interest, including North Korea’s denuclearization. The second one was in February 2019 when he accompanied President Donald Trump for the latter’s summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi.

Source: https://e.vnexpress.net/news/news/us-backs-a-strong-independent-vietnam-pompeo-4184715.html

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Vietnam starts COVID-19 vaccine trials on monkeys

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Do Tuan Dat, director of developer Vaccine and Biological Production No. 1 (Vabiotech), said on October 30 that Vietnamese researchers have begun performing trials for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine on monkeys.

The trial phase will see the vaccine given in various doses to 12 healthy macaca mulatta monkeys aged between three and five years old, with each animal weighing over three kg.

The 12 monkeys will be divided into two groups, including those that are given injections and those not given injections. Indeed, the vaccine will be administered to the animals on two occasions, with continuous evaluation throughout the process as each shot is given every 21 to 28 days.

Dat outlined that it will take approximately three months to get the results back from the trials, after which the blood samples of the monkeys will be sent to units in Hanoi for testing.

A COVID-19 vaccine for humans is expected to be ready for mass production by 2022. VOV

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/society/vietnam-starts-covid-19-vaccine-trials-on-monkeys-685000.html

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No new COVID-19 cases on Friday

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Friday evening update

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/society/804088/no-new-covid-19-cases-on-friday.html

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