More than 11 million people from Syria have been forced to flee their homes, approximately half of them children. Since 2012, Caritas Switzerland has provided emergency relief and long-term support totalling 18 million Swiss francs in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and northern Iraq.
Caritas Switzerland supports poor, marginalised groups in Vietnam in their struggle of finding ways out of poverty. This is done with the participation and in partnership with local communities, organisations, authorities and the people themselves. Vietnam is in the midst of rapid economic and social transformation. Traditional systems of support have begun to break down; wider opportunities for economic advancement are accompanied by greater exposure to risk. The challenges are multiple: Economic and social disparities, gender inequality, and striking inequity between mountainous and/or remote rural areas and the more affluent urban areas of the country are substantial.
Against this background and in line with the social policies of the Vietnamese Government and together with its local partners, Caritas Switzerland has decided to focus on the following five fields of activities in the Country Programme period 2012-2016 in Vietnam:
Human Rights and Social Justice: increasing equity in development and promote human rights and social justice, focusing on disadvantaged members of society (children, disabled, minorities).
Climate Change Adaptation, Disaster Risk Reduction and Humanitarian Aid: supporting environment protection and crisis prevention. Delivering relief and rehabilitation aid, combining it with Climate Change Adaptation/Disaster Risk Reduction measures.
Food through Sustainable Livelihoods: ensuring livelihood and food security for the poorest, especially those of ethnic minority groups, including access to clean drinking water and sanitation/hygiene, as well as ensuring the conservation of the environment in general. .
In all its activities, Caritas Switzerland in Vietnam takes into consideration three cross-cutting issues:
Capacity development for local partner organisations, including their organisational strengthening and institutional development also for civil society organizations
Do No Harm/Conflict sensitivity
In implementing the projects, at each level the crucial actors are identified and partnerships are established, for example with government or state authorities, provincial People’s Committee, local civil society organisations, etc. Caritas Switzerland in Vietnam is an active member of several thematic networks and/or working groups which serve as forums for exchange of information and experience, mutual learning, and as an opportunity for policy dialogue and advocacy.
Short history of Caritas Switzerland presence in country
Starting its activities in Vietnam in 1996, Caritas Switzerland has since been committed to improve the lives of poor marginalized people. Focusing on ethnic minority communities living in remote areas and benefiting least from the nation’s economic growth, Caritas Switzerland’s Country Programme in Vietnam has significantly contributed to increased income and agricultural productivity both in the An Phu Commune (former Ha Tay Province, 80km south of Hanoi) and in the Ha Giang Province (in the Northern Highlands bordering China, over 300 km north of Hanoi). With Vietnam facing an increasing number of natural disasters, particularly typhoons, Caritas Switzerland in Vietnam has shifted attention also to activities that reduce people’s vulnerability to natural disasters in the coastal areas of Central Vietnam (Quang Binh Province), and combined humanitarian aid activities with preventive measures of disaster risk reduction. At same time, the focus on food security from an income diversification approach is decreasing, in favor of moving to a Making Markets Work for the Poor (M4P), inclusive value chain development approach. The focus on human rights, social justice and strengthening civil society is increasing as part of the Country Programme 2012-20.