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Vietnam

To share the benefits of the country’s fast-growing economy with more of the Vietnamese people, Oxfam and our partners are fighting inequality, to eliminate poverty and injustice.

The last 25 years have seen rapid economic growth in Vietnam, but inequality persists especially among women, ethnic minority groups, and people living in remote areas. Millions of people are trapped in poorly paid and precarious work. And the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed informal workers unprotected by social security as well as a huge burden of unpaid care work undertaken by women in the country.

Oxfam started its work in Vietnam in 1955. Since the late 1980s, we have been implementing long-term development projects across the country. Although Vietnam achieved lower middle-income status in 2010, a lack of investment in education, health care, and civic engagement for the most impoverished parts of society further undermines the country's prospects for a better future.

We believe that equality is essential for a just society – a society in which everyone, regardless of gender, has equal access to resources and opportunities. We work with our partners in government, civil society, business, the media, and academia to influence policy and change the systems that sustain inequality. To ensure lasting change, we work to help people survive short-term emergencies, and support programs that address the long-term solutions to poverty and injustice.

What is Oxfam doing to help people in Vietnam?

Oxfam’s innovative work with partners in Vietnam to fight inequality helps people survive immediate crises in the short term, and tackles the root causes of poverty and injustice over the long term.

HELPING PEOPLE IN VIETNAM SURVIVE IN THE SHORT TERM

HELPING PEOPLE IN VIETNAM THRIVE OVER THE LONG TERM

Advocating for women and equal opportunity

Women in Vietnam continue to experience discrimination and often lack economic and political opportunities. Gender-based violence remains widespread; about 58 percent of married women aged 18 to 60 experience some form of violence at the hands of their husbands or intimate partners at least once in their lifetime.

Oxfam is working with local communities, civil society organizations, government agencies, and academia to help increase women’s confidence as well as their decision-making role in families and communities. This has been done through raising awareness of gender equality among men and women, challenging gender stereotypes through influencing the media, campaigning with and for youth to challenge harmful gender norms, helping women to increase their incomes, and influencing policies to enhance equal opportunities for men and women. In 2021, Oxfam engaged more than 6,000 young people in a project designed to raise awareness of negative gender stereotypes and promote gender equity.

Oxfam and partners also research ways that government programs designed to help people in the pandemic could be more aware of gender violence, and recommended specific policies and other measures to reduce violence. In one of our projects to promote more women’s leadership, Oxfam and our partners provided political skills training to help women participate in public activities in 180 villages in Vietnam. The project equips women with the capabilities and knowledge about how the local political system works for them to turn their ideas into action at the village and commune levels.

Oxfam helps low-income workers and other vulnerable groups understand their rights under Vietnam’s laws, and what social programs are available to help them during the pandemic.
Oxfam helps low-income workers and other vulnerable groups understand their rights under Vietnam’s laws, and what social programs are available to help them during the pandemic. Dewald Brand, Miran for Oxfam

Promoting social accountability and empowered citizens

Oxfam and our partners are helping citizens, particularly marginalized people living in poverty and enduring injustices, to access more information, hold the government accountable, and raise their voices on the issues that affect their lives. We help train and encourage people to participate in public debates, influence policies, and monitor implementation of programs created to help them. Oxfam supports decision-making processes that are fair, transparent, and enable citizens to participate effectively. Trainings and other support are organized for vulnerable groups such as women, people living with disabilities, and ethnic minorities to understand more about their legal rights. We connect civil society actors and the private sector to create new networks and a shared civic space. We also work with the business community to ensure fair and inclusive financing for development and toward improved corporate governance.

Oxfam helped more than 3,000 workers from 28 provinces participate in an innovative citizen feedback mechanism to voice their opinions about the government’s COVID-19 support package. In another 2022 initiative, more than 129,000 women, ethnic minorities, and children learned about their legal rights under various laws and government policies designed to help the most vulnerable Vietnamese citizens. We helped more than 9,000 people from vulnerable groups get legal advice in administrative, civil, and criminal matters, and provided emergency assistance to 641 migrant garbage collectors, street venders, and people living with disabilities to help them survive pandemic-related economic shocks.

Oxfam’s partners helped push for sustainable and inclusive business standards for seafood and aquaculture companies to work with small- and medium-sized businesses, many of which include women workers.
Oxfam’s partners helped push for sustainable and inclusive business standards for seafood and aquaculture companies to work with small- and medium-sized businesses, many of which include women workers. Chau Doan / OnAsia.com for Oxfam America

Empowering small-scale farmers

As part of the program to assist small-scale farmers and vulnerable people, especially ethnic minorities and women, Oxfam supports groups that are advocating for better natural resource management and agricultural policies that enhance their resilience against climate change and disaster risks. In 2020-2021, Oxfam helped about 63,000 smallholder farmers as part of this program, 56% of them women.

Our partners advocated for sustainable master plans for rice production in three provinces, for clam production in three provinces, and master plans for growing bamboo in two provinces. Oxfam’s partners helped push for sustainable and inclusive business standards for seafood and aquaculture companies to work with small- and medium-sized businesses, many of which include women workers. In its efforts to help small-scale farmers, in 2020-2021 Oxfam helped 58,200 smallholder farmers (55 percent of them women) to improve their livelihoods through business and marketing training. We have developed and introduced an environmentally friendly gasification technology for 6,000 small scale agri-businesses that makes use of agricultural waste.

Vietnam is one of six countries worst hit by climate change. Poor people, women, ethnic minorities, and other marginalized groups are the most affected. We are helping to build resilience in these high-risk communities, so they are better able to mitigate disasters and adapt to the effects of climate change.

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