Ambassador Kritenbrink Remarks: Vietnam Red Cross – Enhanced Capacity Phase II Launch

Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Vietnam Red Cross Headquarters, Hai Ba Trung

Madam Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu, President of the Vietnam Red Cross; Representatives of Central Party Commission for External Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Health; Representatives of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and National Societies; Red Cross Leaders and Members; Ladies and Gentlemen;

It is a pleasure to be here today to launch Phase II of this project to enhance the Vietnam Red Cross’ capacity in disaster risk management, first aid, and healthcare.

I’d like to thank the Vietnam Red Cross for hosting today’s event and for being an excellent partner to USAID. We recognize the critical role the Red Cross plays in all 63 provinces to help the Vietnamese people prepare for and respond to disasters.

I arrived in Vietnam just before the APEC meeting in Danang. This was the same time that Typhoon Damrey made landfall.

I am proud that the U.S. Government was able to quickly respond with an emergency grant to the Vietnam Red Cross. Together, over the next several months, we will help the people in Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, and Khanh Hoa provinces recover and rebuild their lives.

The recent typhoon, and others before it, clearly demonstrate the importance of being prepared and able to effectively respond to disasters. Advanced preparation and well-coordinated responses are critical to minimizing the impacts.

During Phase I of the project, the Vietnam Red Cross achieved some truly excellent results. The project greatly exceeded its targets, directly benefitting over 11,000 people and indirectly benefiting nearly 20,000 people in the three target provinces of Bac Lieu, Hoa Binh, and Quang Tri.

Phase II will incorporate lessons learned and help ensure this important work continues and expands to additional communes in the same provinces. Phase II aims to benefit 13,700 people directly and 30,000 indirectly in just 15 months! A challenging but achievable objective.

Communities play a critical role in preparing for and responding to disasters. Phase II of the project will continue using a community-based approach to build capacity. Individuals in each commune are the key to effective disaster mitigation. And as such, they must have the necessary skills and tools.

Thank you for your efforts and your partnership. I look forward to seeing the excellent results that will come from Phase II.

I wish you good health, happiness and success. And, I wish that the friendship between the United States and Vietnam will develop even further. Thank you!