|Volume 11, Issue 1||Interchange||April 2001|
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has established a new office in Vietnam, formally opened on November 18, 2000, during President Clinton's historic visit.
While USAID has had no on-the-ground representation in Vietnam for 25 years, the Agency has provided approximately $30 million in assistance since 1991, primarily through the Leahy War Victims Fund (LWVF) and the Displaced Children and Orphans Fund (DCOF). These two funds have supported a number of projects implemented by NGOs to provide prosthetics, promote rehabilitation, and improve accessibility for the disabled. The NGOs currently administering these programs include World Vision, Health Volunteers Overseas, Prosthetics Outreach Foundation, Vietnam Assistance for the Handicapped, Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, Catholic Relief Services, Health and Education Volunteers, Pearl S. Buck International, and World Concern Development Organization. Through its Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), USAID has also provided more than $3 million in disaster relief to Vietnam since 1994, primarily in response to floods or typhoons.
The new USAID program will continue LWVF/ DCOF support to NGO disabilities projects, and contribute to a long-term multilateral disaster mitigation effort through OFDA funding of flood early warning systems along Vietnam's coast and in three central river basins. A new 5-year HIV/AIDS initiative is also planned in collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In addition to this health and humanitarian assistance focus, the program will help facilitate implementation of the US/Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement, by providing technical assistance to the government of Vietnam, supporting trade promotion initiatives, and strengthening business education, training, and research. USAID will also promote improved urban industrial and environmental management in several large Vietnamese cities through the US Asia Environmental Partnership.
The office is initially being staffed by two US personal services contractors (PSCs) and four Vietnamese foreign service nationals. Program oversight is provided by the USAID Regional Mission in Cambodia.
The office is currently housed in the US Embassy Annex (Rose Garden Tower), 6 Ngoc Khanh, Hanoi. For further information contact Jean Gilson (ph: 831-4580, ext. 115, email: Jgilson@usaid-vn.org) or Mark Rasmuson (ph. 831-4580, ext. 120, email: Mrasmuson@usaid-vn.org).
Professor Nguyen Dinh Hoa passed away December 10, at the age of 76. Prof. Hoa was a pioneer in the study of Vietnamese language and literature. His Vietnamese language textbooks, such as Speak Vietnamese, Read Vietnamese, Colloquial Vietnamese, along with his various Vietnamese dictionaries, have been used widely by people around the world. Along with this are many articles he has written on Vietnamese literature and linguistics. His most recently published book, in 1999, was an autobiographical memoir,From the City Inside the Red River: A Cultural Memoir of Mid-century Vietnam; published by McFarland Co. in Jefferson, North Carolina (271 pages, library call number: PL4371.N44 1999). He founded the Center for Vietnamese Studies at Southern Illinois University, and has taught at many other universities.
- Stephen Denney
Participants in the groundbreaking for the PeaceTrees Friendship Village in Quang Tri Province (from left) Nguyen Xuan Trung, Province Department of Planning and Investment; Le Quang Binh, Chairman of Dong Ha Town People's Committee; Lt. Col. Frank Miller, Defense Attaché, US Embassy Hanoi; Chuck Meadows, Managing Director, Peace Trees Vietnam; Nguyen Duc Chinh, Vice Chairman, Quang Tri Province People's Committee; Vu Ngoc Sinh, Deputy Secretary Communist Party of Dong Ha Town; Jerilyn Brusseau, Co-Founder, Peace Trees Vietnam; Phan Trong Thai, Director, PACCOM; Nguyen Xuan Anh, Vice Chairman, Dong Ha Town People's Committee; Hoang Dang Mai, Director, Province Foreign Relations Department
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