|Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam speaks at the event. — Photo vietq.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) gathered with Vietnamese Government officials yesterday to celebrate a 40-year partnership that has improved the lives and well-being of generations of Vietnamese children.
Attending the celebrations, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said that the past four decades had seen enormous progress for children in Viet Nam. Most children now go to school and many more have access to adequate health care.
The mortality rate of children under five years of age has reduced by 80 per cent from 1986 to 2014. High immunisation rates helped eradicate polio and maternal and neonatal tetanus, according to the UNICEF.
Despite the substantial progress, Dam said, the children of Viet Nam still faced considerable challenges.
Persistent disparities exist between regions, urban and rural and hard-to-reach mountainous area where most of the ethnic minorities live. The child mortality rates in northern mountainous areas and in the central highlands were close to three times higher than the national average.
Youssouf Abdel Jelil, UNICEF Representative in Viet Nam, said that UNICEF would continue to support Viet Nam in public advocacy to devote commitment, policies and resources to realise children's rights, especially to the most vulnerable children including migrants, children with disabilities and ethnic minority children living in hard-to-reach, hard-to-serve areas.
The United Nations Resident Co-ordinator, Pratibha Mehta, also spoke at the ceremony. She highlighted the strength of the partnership between UNICEF and other UN agencies and the joint commitment between Viet Nam and the United Nations to increase the relevance, effectiveness and efficiency in the context of the rapidly transforming middle income Viet Nam. — VNS