Ha Noi 12 April 2020 – The UN Development Programme (UNDP) has donated 20,000 high quality surgical masks to Viet Nam’s Ministry of Health (MOH) to help protect healthcare workers who are vital to  confronting the COVID-19 pandemic. This is part of the UNDP’s response to support the Government of Viet Nam’s efforts to combat, respond and recover from COVID-19 pandemic.

Handing over the masks to the Ministry of Health, UNDP Resident Representative Caitlin Wiesen congratulated Viet Nam, especially the health sector for its success in combating COVID19, with more than half of the COVID-19 patients fully recovered. She reiterated UNDP’s commitment to support this effort, building on the existing Memorandum of Understanding signed between UNDP and MOH supporting the health sector on readiness in response to climate change and capacity building for centralized procurement activities. “The global COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a shortage of critical personal protective equipment, putting healthcare workers at risk,” she said. “UNDP is helping the Ministry of Health procure critically needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies to support doctors, nurses and health staff at the frontline of this crisis”.

UNDP has been working closely with relevant ministries and UN organizations to support Viet Nam to urgently and effectively respond to COVID-19, as part of its mission to eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities and build resilience to crisis and shocks. UNDP support the Government’s approach and believes in a multisectoral whole-of-society and whole-of-government approaches to face the challenges to limit the spread of COVID-19 and to mitigate the potentially devastating impact it may have on vulnerable populations and economies.

In response to COVID-19, UNDP is working with Ministry of Health and WHO in the communication campaign “Spreading the word – #LeaveNoOneBehind” to reach out the ethnic minority people and people with disabilities. The campaign promotes COVID-19 prevention messages through animation and other communication means in ethnic minority and sign languages.

In addition, UNDP in collaboration with UNWOMEN is conducting a rapid assessment of economic impacts of the crisis by surveying around 600 vulnerable households and 500 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). This will contribute to the COVID-19 Impact Assessment led by National Center for Information and Forecast of the Ministry of Planning and Investment. The assessment results and proposed solutions will inform Government’s policy measures to support the most vulnerable people and MSMEs, and to ensure No One is Left Behind.

In the longer term, UNDP will look at innovative ways to support the Viet Nam to better prevent and manage such crises and ensure that the country makes full use of the lessons learned from this crisis to build back better.

On behalf of the Ministry of Health’s leaders, Mr. Nguyen Nam Lien, Director General of the Department of Planning and Finance, thanked UNDP for its support to Viet Nam in the disease prevention and control efforts. “We highly appreciate UNDP’s present of 20,000 masks for health and its assistance in procuring N95 masks for the disease prevention and control work,’’ he said. Mr. Nguyen Nam Lien also affirmed the Ministry of Health’s continued partnership with UNDP in sustainable health procurement.

UNDP interventions are part of the overall UN COVID-19 response plan in Viet Nam led by WHO. Tackling COVID-19 and its impacts will require partners who can work across systems and sectors and in contexts that are both complex and uncertain. UNDP has invested in building a next generation mindset of innovation, networking, and digital development across a global team – a crucial institutional asset at the current time.  

For more information, please contact:

Nguyen Viet Lan nguyen.viet.lan@undp.org; 84-24-38500158.

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