Mobilizing resources to support COVID-19 prevention and control efforts in Viet Nam
Ha Noi - On September 30, 2021, VUSTA convened a hybrid seminar on to seek solutions to mobilize international resources for the prevention and control of COVID-19 under the charing of H.E Phan Xuan Dung.
VUSTA President Phan Xuan Dung delivering is opening speech
Speaking at the seminar, Dr. Sc. Phan Xuan Dung said that VUSTA, as an organization gathering Vietnamese intellectuals, has been actively carrying out works and activities contributing to the Party's common efforts, of which mobilizing international sources also contributes to people-to-people diplomacy and official diplomatic channel of the Government.
Dr. Nguyen Thu Giang, Deputy Director of Light Public Health Development Institute – LIGHT
According to the VUSTA’s briefing, the VUSTA’s science and technology organizations (STOs) which have international-related activities have mobilized a total of USD 5,521,091 of grant aid from international partners for projects of prevention and response to the COVID-19 pandemic since 2020. The main partners are from the United States, Japan, France, Australia and some foreign enterprises. The grant aids focus on supply and distribution of medical protective items to vulnerable groups; building community capacity to respond to pandemic, communication to raise awareness, guiding people to prevent pandemic; providing psychological support; conducting scientific research in terms of studying epidemiological factors and international experiences.
In terms of domestic resources mobilized and activities, there are insights experts from several organizations gathering to discuss and propose measures and plans to prevent and control measures the pandemic to competent agencies. In addition, many organizations and individuals under VUSTA system have been voluntarily participating in the fights of covid 19.
At the seminar, leaders of outstanding science and technology organizations and experts shared on: the process of building projects to mobilize international resources (Institute for Social Development Studies accessed fund from the Japan Social Development Fund); the COVID - 19 support package within the framework of the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control for the period of 2021-2023; information of the Global Summit on Ending the COVID-19 Pandemic initiated by the President of the United States Joe Biden and social security support solutions for disadvantaged groups.
Dr. Khuat Thu Hong, Director of Institute for Social Development Studies
Dr. Khuat Thu Hong, Director of Institute for Social Development Studies shared on the project Strengthening preparedness and response to COVID-19 at the grassroots level in Vietnam (2021-2024) funded by the Japan Social Development Fund. As the name suggests, the project aims to strengthen preparedness and response capacities for pandemics and other health emergencies at the community level in three proposed provinces: Vinh Phuc, Khanh Hoa, and Long An. It is estimated that 270,000 people will benefit from the project’s interventions with at least 3,500 people from vulnerable groups. The three-year project until December 2024 will also raise awareness and promote sustainable behavioral change in preparing and responding to health emergencies through risk communication. Scientific and fact-based information about COVID-19 transmission modes, suspected signs and symptoms, and prevention measures will be provided to health workers and community members alike. Some expected behaviors include correct mask wearing, appropriate hand washing, and environmental hygiene. An innovative element of this project is the pilot interventions to address the needs of the most vulnerable groups during the pandemic. They include elderly people in urban areas, ethnic minorities, informal workers, people living with HIV/AIDS, drug users, and female sex workers. It will leverage volunteer networks to reach about 3,500 people of these groups, offering them information about COVID-19 detection and prevention measures, psychological support, and in-kind assistance such as food, medication, and protective equipment.
According to Dr. Hong, the pandemic has confirmed the positive role of civil society in activities such as relief; coordinate with the authorities, functional agencies and mass organizations in pandemic prevention and control and reduce the harmful effects. There are many suitable, timely and practical initiatives from civil social organizations, especially these CSOs is flexible in implementation and can easily access to grassroots or marginalized and vulnerable groups. I would like to stress that these groups are not easily accessed by authority but CSOs with experiences working with them can support them in pandemic.
Dr. Hong also affirmed that this is an opportunity for VUSTA to continue advocating for the issue of the Law on Associations, in order to create a legal corridor for organizations and individuals to promote their initiative and capacity to contribute to general economic and social development.
Dr. Khuat Thi Hai Oanh, Director of Center for supporting community development initiatives - SCDI
Doctor Khuat Thi Hai Oanh, Director of Center for supporting community development initiatives – SCDI shared about the results of the Global Summit on Ending the COVID-19 pandemic initiated by the US President. Accordingly, the Summit has set a goal of vaccinating the world by providing enough vaccine doses, enhancing equitable access to vaccines, implementing vaccinations (getting shots into arms), producing vaccines in developing countries; saving lives by solving the global oxygen crisis, making tests and therapeutics more available and enhancing access to personal protective equipment, monitoring new variants; build back better which means preparing for the next pandemic by establishing a global health security financial intermediary fund (FIF), as recommended by the G20 presidency’s high level independent panel and other international experts, establishing a global health threats council.
Dr. Tran Tuan, RTCCD Director at his interventions
Dr. Tran Tuan, Director of Research and training centre for community development (RTCCD) expressed that VUSTA has strengths on gathering and connecting social organizations and experts that enable VUSTA to establish a fund to mobilize wide range of resources from international organizations, domestic corporates and even individuals. VUSTA should develop a master plan for issues related not only pandemic but also environment, energy…