Vietnam is a success story in the fight against poverty: the proportion of the population living in poverty has halved since 1993. However, the global downturn hit the country hard.
The poorest people, with tiny plots of land devastated by climate and over-use, grow barely enough food to survive - and those who have lost their jobs in the city cannot return to a countryside where unemployment is close to 80 per cent.
Vietnam in recession: Nguyen Thi Lanh
...with only £12 to live on, and facing ever rising food prices, she says she feels malnourished and weak...
Healthcare, education, medicines, seeds and tools, previously subsidised by the state, are increasingly provided by the market, which very poor people cannot access.
ActionAid in Vietnam
ActionAid began operating in Vietnam in 1989, and now works with poor communities across the country.
ActionAid Vietnam works towards securing the basic rights of poor and marginalised people. We work in partnership with poor communities so they can have a say in decisions that affect their own lives.
Capacity building is a major aim of our programmes. We have set up partnerships with various government ministries, agencies and donors, as well as community groups, who are either responsible for making policies or working with ActionAid Vietnam to provide practical help to poor people.
"Before the canal system was upgraded with ActionAid’s support and before the establishment of the Water Users’ Association, I used to be worried every time my son went out to get water. Water supplies were not reliable and fights for water were common. Now I no longer need to worry. The Water Users’ Association takes care of their villagers – water is delivered to every plot and there is no more fighting."