Where We Work - Vietnam

Helping Children in Vietnam

In 1990, Save the Children was invited by the Vietnamese government to begin working on the issue of child nutrition. In response, Save the Children developed a highly successful nutrition program, which has been replicated nationwide and in many countries around the world.

Our Results in Vietnam

  • We kept 1,800 children safe from harm.
  • More than 35,860 children got the opportunity to learn.
  • In times of crisis, 35,323 children received emergency relief.
  • To help parents feed their children, 2,030 received support to start businesses, improve farming practices and invest in their children’s futures.
  • To fight malnutrition, nearly 5,101,565 received nutritious food and vital supplements.

Explore Our Programs

Maternal, Newborn and Child Health

Impressive improvements in Vietnam's health status over the past decade have yet to address all needs and have not been equally distributed throughout the country. Save the Children's initial ground-breaking nutrition program has evolved into a more comprehensive set of interventions that address the principal health difficulties facing Vietnam's mothers and their young children. Through innovative approaches, rigorous research, and strategic advocacy, Save the Children has emerged as a leading INGO in safe motherhood and newborn health in Vietnam.

Our Child Survival project uses the positive deviance approach as well as community meeting techniques to reduce maternal and under-five mortality in rural ethnic communities. Key project components include safe home deliveries, malnutrition rehabilitation, and exclusive breastfeeding.


Young people in Vietnam and are becoming more and more at risk of HIV infection and other reproductive health issues. Our HIV and AIDS programs improve their knowledge and attitudes, foster a supportive social environment, and create youth-oriented health services, all of which enable young people to adopt healthy and protective behaviors that safeguard their health.

Save the Children's school-based HIV prevention efforts entail close collaboration with the Ministry of Education in the development of a national action plan to promote reproductive health and HIV education in secondary schools. HIV and AIDS prevention messages are also distributed to young people through the public school system.

Early Childhood Development

Save the Children works to help families and communities to provide better nutrition, education and healthcare for children during their critial early years. Our education programs uses child-friendly, community-based approaches to maximize learning opportunities for disadvantaged children. We work closely with the Ministry of Education in all of our early childhood programs and actively advocates for increased attention to this vital sector.

Our Early Childhood Care and Development project applies a holistic approach to address the health and educational needs of children under six. Save the Children builds the capacity of health service providers, preschool teachers, and families to ensure that young children receive the best possible care in their formative years of life.

Save the Children's Reading for Children initiative prepares disadvantaged children, particularly ethnic minority children, for primary school by building their cognitive and pre-literacy skills at an early age. Early learning opportunities have proven to be a highly effective means to provide poor children the head start they need to do well in school.

Hunger and Livelihoods

Many poor Vietnamese women do not have access to financial services which would enable them to establish livelihoods and provide economic security for their children. Save the Children's rural and urban microfinance programs offer small loans to groups of women who guarantee each other in lieu of formal collateral. Now serving over 10,000 clients, our programs have a loan portfolio of more than US $500,000 and a client base comprised of 99 percent women. Save the Children is also a key advocate for microfinance sector development in Vietnam through our leadership role in the national working group.

Disaster Preparedness and Response

Vietnam is especially vulnerable to the effects of natural disasters, which often have serious consequences on the well-being of children. Save the Children works directly with local authorities and community people in disaster-prone areas to better prepare and protect themselves in times of emergency. Through collaboration with other members of the Save the Children Alliance, our program supports communities on various aspects of disaster preparedness planning, with a special emphasis on raising awareness for child safety and protection during disaster situations.

Vietnam Facts and Statistics

  • Population: 93,421,835
  • Infant Death Rate: 23 in 1,000 live births
  • Life Expectancy: 72.9 years
  • Underweight Children: 12%
  • Maternal Death Risk: 1 in 870 women
  • Girls' Education: 11.9 years
  • Income per capita: 1550 (USD)
  • Human Development Rank: 121 out of 187 countries


Unless otherwise noted, facts and statistics have been sourced from Save the Children’s 2014 State of the World’s Mothers report.You can access detailed data here.

Other sources as follows: Population and Life Expectancy: CIA World Factbook 2014; Human Development Rank: United Nations Development Programme 2014; Underweight Children: World Health Organization Report 2014

Last Updated December 2014

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