Vietnam is a dynamic country that is developing at an astonishing pace. In recent years Vietnam’s economic growth and reductions in poverty have impressed the international community, with the rate of poverty falling from 60 percent to around 20 percent in the last 20 years.
However, this decline in poverty has been disproportionate, with the need still great for vulnerable groups such as ethnic minorities, women, children and people living with disabilities.
Vietnam is also highly vulnerable to natural disasters, with approximately 70% of the population at risk of typhoons, storms and flooding. Each year, between 1 and 1.2 million people are affected by natural disasters and require emergency assistance.
Natural disasters have a significant ongoing impact as they interrupt everyday life – children cannot go to school, parents cannot work, and often, time and money are needed to rebuild damaged or destroyed homes.
Although Vietnam is a country in great need, it is also a melting pot of cultural and historical references. There are plenty of unique places to explore. Have a croissant and a coffee in Hanoi’s Parisian-style Old Quarter. Visit Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum to understand the country’s deep respect for its liberator and Communist figurehead and explore the War Remnants Museum to learn about the American War and the impact it still has on Vietnam today.