NGOs in Vietnam
Thanks to more open conditions created by the Government, the number of NGOs operating in Vietnam increases quickly, from 183 in 1992 to 514 and 800 in 2003 and 2010 respectively.
By 1989, there were many restrictions to activities of foreign NGOs in Vietnam. At that time, NGOs in Vietnam operated with very modest aid budget, so their support had been mainly in kind with the nature of being humanitarian and emergency assistance. One of reasons leading to the lack of NGOs‘s appearance in Vietnam could be the unclear legal framework for the operation of NGOs in the country. Foreign NGO assistance was acquired and allocated by only an organization which is the Aid Receipt Division of the Ministry of Finance.
After 1989, the number of foreign NGOs operating in Vietnam has risen at a drastic rate and the forms and nature of foreign assistance have changed considerably, from mainly in-kind to projects or programs of humanitarian or development purposes. The first legal frameworks to control the operation of foreign NGOs in Vietnam could be Decision 339/TTg on establishing the Committee for NGO Affairs and Decision 340/TTg on issuing Regulations on the Operation of foreign NGOs in Vietnam.
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According to these regulations, foreign NGOs are entitled to carry out development assistance and charitable activities which are categorized as non-profit. Yet, they have to apply for permission of the Government of Vietnam in the following forms: Permit for Operation, Permit for the Establishment of Project Office and Permit for the Establishment of Representative Office. A committee for Foreign NGO Affairs was set up under Decision 59/2001/ QD-TTg on 24th Apirl 2001.
The committee is responsible for assisting the Government in directing the administration of, solutions to issues involved foreign NGO activities in Vietnam and the position of Executive member of the Committee is taken by the president of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organization (VUFO). The People’s Aid Coordinating Committee (PACCOM), as the specialized and functional body of VUFO, states its functional activities of processing the issuance, extension and amendment of Permits of different kinds for international NGOs operating in Vietnam in accordance with the regulations.
Until now, with favorable conditions created by the Government, the number of NGOs operating in Vietnam increases quickly, from 183 in 1992 to 514 and 800 in 2003 and 2010 respectively.