Fast facts

Population: 89 million
Life expectancy: 74.9 years (69.72 for males, 74.92 for females)
Under 5mortality: 14 deaths for every 1,000 live births
Maternal mortality: 150 per 100,000 live births
HIIV prevalence: 0.4%*
Adult literacy rate: 90.3%
Access to improved drinking water: 99% (urban), 91% (rural)**

(Source: International Human Development Indicators; United Nations Development Programme, 2010; *HIV and AIDS estimate UNAIDS, 2009; **Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply, WHO/UNICEF, 2008)


CARE in Vietnam

CARE has worked in Vietnam since 1989 and has been working in many of the country’s 62 provinces, providing long-term development programs and emergency relief and rehabilitation assistance.

Our work in Vietnam focuses on:

  • Water and sanitation
  • Sexual and reproductive health
  • Emerging infectious diseases, including Avian Influenza
  • Community development
  • Sustainable natural resource management
  • Climate change
  • Responding to emergencies


Download more information on CARE’s work in Vietnam



Stories from CARE's work in Vietnam

Breaking down barriers in Vietnam

© Christina Munzer/CARE

by Christina Munzer, CARE Australia's Asia & Pacific Coordinator

I’ve recently come back from a trip to the Delta region of Vietnam and I am hopeful. Through dedicated local partners and funding from donors like AusAID, CARE is reaching the most vulnerable communities with development assistance.

Thanh and his family come to mind. Thanh is 26, with a bright face. He has what could be described as cerebral palsy but this has not been medically confirmed. Working through local Women’s Union and Commune People’s Committee members, CARE has been providing crucial water, sanitation and hygiene support to vulnerable households that lie scattered across the Delta, many areas that are now inundated by floodwaters. This included building an indoor toilet for Thanh, who has limited mobility. Read more


South-East Asia underwater

© Richard Wecker/CARE

by Lara Franzen, CARE International's Emergency Advisor in Vietnam

Sitting three deep in a glorified canoe, I’m carefully motored across the Plane of Reeds on the Mekong Delta in south-west Vietnam.

I’m told that six metres below the water’s surface sit rice fields, land which only a month ago held hope of a bumper harvest, with it the offerings of a livelihood and a helping hand out of extreme poverty.

I’m wholly aware of the abnormality of the sights which surround me; the tops of thatched houses, immersed headstones of sacred graveyards and the surreal experience of being at head height with the electrical wires. Read more.


Mushrooms provide the chance to get an education  

© Josh Estey/CARE

Cec Thach Cue and her husband Sung Nguyen are proud of their simple wooden home in southern Vietnam. They have running water, a toilet, and three children who are in school for the day.

Life wasn’t always like this, though. Not long ago, there was no basic sanitation in the house, no reliable income, no school for the children and no hope for a better future.

‘Before, we could only do some occasional jobs. We didn’t have any money. We were very poor,’ says Nguyen. ‘My health was also very bad. None of us were very healthy and our kids could not go to school because we did not have enough money.’ Read more.


Help her learn

According to UNAIDS, 33.2 million people worldwide were living with HIV in 2007. Approximately one person in every 60 households in Vietnam lives with the virus. People most at risk of contracting HIV in Vietnam are injecting drug users and those involved in sex work. Through a project aptly named STEP, CARE is striving to transform the lives of people at risk of infectious diseases, gender-based violence and exclusion from their community.

© Jason Sangster/CARE

CARE is working with women and men in high-risk groups at government-run social rehabilitation centres. Using a gender-based approach we aim to address behaviours that contribute to the risk of sexually transmitted infections; HIV prevalence amongst men and women at risk; drug and alcohol addiction; gender-based violence (usually involving a man abusing a woman); and social exclusion.

We will increase staff capacity in the centres to identify and reduce the risks of infectious diseases and gender-based violence and support staff to develop a curriculum to help prepare residents for life in the community.  

Post-release support groups will be established in the community for vulnerable men and women to better access health and social services after leaving the centres. Revolving loans will be available to use for small business development projects from a pool of funds in their community. CARE will also work with health and social service providers to ensure their services respond to the particular needs of female injecting drug users and sex workers, such as counselling, peer outreach programs and credit groups. 

Throughout all of this work, CARE and partners will work to address the underlying causes of stigma and discrimination, infectious diseases and gender-based violence in communities.

Learn more about CARE’s work with women and girls

‘I hope that in the future my garden will produce more fruit so that I can have some extra income for the household. Then my children could go to school for longer and learn more.’

May received mango seeds through a CARE project in Vietnam, which also trained people in her community in cultivation, water and sanitation and hygiene awareness.


Managing Our Mangroves

CARE has been working in this area on a Community-Based Mangrove Reforestation and Management Project. This video shows how how planting and sustainable management of extensive mangrove areas are key to protecting vulnerable communities from the physical and economic impacts of disasters such as Typhoon Damrey.

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