Thursday, January 21, 2016


Three years ago, the leaders of UN humanitarian agencies issued an urgent appeal to those who could end the conflict in Syria. They called for every effort to save the Syrian people. “Enough”, they said, of the suffering and bloodshed.

That was three years ago.

Now, the war is approaching its sixth brutal year. The bloodshed continues. The suffering deepens.
So today, we – leaders of humanitarian organisations and UN agencies - appeal not only to governments but to each of you - citizens around the world – to add your voices in urging an end to the carnage. To urge that all parties reach agreement on a ceasefire and a path to peace.

#SyriaCrisis: 5 years of suffering in 60 seconds.

The #SyriaCrisis has raged for five brutal years. Take 60 seconds to watch, share and show your support to help end the suffering.

Monday, January 18, 2016

What does child-sensitive planning mean for equitable advancement?

Viet Nam has made impressive progress in the realisation of women’s and children’s rights. One of the key guiding principles for its development is the Socio-economic Development Plan (SEDP) that promotes economic growth combined with the implementation of social advance, equality and improvement of life quality. However, there are still millions of Vietnamese children deprived of essential needs including education, health, water and sanitation, shelter, refrained child labour, leisure and social protection. Let’s follow the story of Tao, a Tay ethnic minority girl to see what policy makers could do to change the situations with their socio-economic development planning.

Monday, November 16, 2015

WELLA-UNICEF Making Waves Programme Launches Vocational Hairdresser Training for Vulnerable Youth in Viet Nam

Holding a comb and the scissors in her hands, Thai Thuy Dung carefully trims a mannequin’s hair while following the instructions of her mentor.  Although this is only a practice session Thuy Dung is excited about the prospect of becoming a future hairdresser.

Raised in a poor family in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Viet Nam’s largest metropolis, Thuy Dung dropped out of middle school to help her grandparents sell vegetables on the streets which exposed her to many dangers.

Thai Thuy Dung follows the haircutting instructions of the mentor.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Nutrition in Vietnam’s urban centres

Field diary, part two

In my previous blog post, I described visiting remote Hmong communities in the mountains of Vietnam, where levels of undernutrition are extremely high – in some areas stunting is as high as 75 percent. For a complete contrast, the next stop on my visit was to Ho Chi Minh City. It is a huge sprawling city of at least 10 million people.

Stunting in Ho Chi Minh City is low, at 7 percent. However, exclusive breastfeeding is also very low, at only 1 percent. Many mothers – up to half – have C-sections, often by choice, and never start breastfeeding. Instead they feed their infants with formula, which does not have the same health and nutrition benefits as breast milk. Mothers who work in factories usually stop breastfeeding as soon as they return to work.

© UNICEF EAPRO/2015/Christiane Rudert
A mother practicing skin-to-skin care at a hospital in Ho Chi Minh City.