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Consul General Marie C. Damour Expresses Support for Vietnam’s Flood Recovery Efforts and Celebrates U.S.-Vietnam Educational Ties in Da Nang and Quang Nam

Diep Nguyen
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USAID has been supporting Vietnam with disaster risk reduction and disaster risk management activities since 2000. 

Consul General Marie C. Damour Expresses Support for Vietnam’s Flood Recovery Efforts and Celebrates U.S.-Vietnam Educational Ties in Da Nang and Quang Nam
Meetings with Danang City Administration
U.S. Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Marie C. Damour completed an official visit to Central Vietnam November 23-24.  In meetings with Da Nang Party Secretary Nguyen Van Quang, Da Nang People’s Committee Chairman Huynh Duc Tho, and Quang Nam People’s Committee Vice Chairman Ho Quang Buu, Consul General Damour offered her condolences to the people of Central Vietnam on the tragic loss of life caused by the recent flooding and storms, and reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to a strong, prosperous, and independent Vietnam as both countries celebrate 25 years since the normalization of bilateral ties.
In their first meeting, the Consul General congratulated Party Secretary Nguyen Van Quang on his new position and reaffirmed U.S. Mission Vietnam’s commitment to working with the city of Da Nang on a variety of topics, including humanitarian issues, educational partnerships, and Da Nang’s smart city development plans.  She expressed thanks to the government and people of Da Nang for being true friends and partners over the years, including during the historic visits of President Donald Trump (2017) and the sailors of the USS Carl Vinson (2018) and USS Theodore Roosevelt (2020). 
Consul General Damour also participated alongside Da Nang People’s Committee Deputy Chairman Ho Ky Minh in the 25th Anniversary of U.S.-Vietnam Diplomatic Relations event co-hosted by the Union of Friendship Organizations and the Vietnam-U.S. Friendship Association at the Da Nang University of Foreign Language Studies on November 24.  
In her remarks at the event, she noted, “The United States was the first country to establish a friendship organization with Vietnam. This helped lay the groundwork for the vibrant partnership we now enjoy…Our thriving partnership is the result of the courage, goodwill, and painstaking work every day of dedicated people on both sides who believed in the possibility of peace and reconciliation.”  Our work is not yet done, but “if the present is any indication of the future, I have nothing but optimism for our bilateral relationship in the years to come,” she said.  She thanked the Vietnam-America Friendship Association of Da Nang City, the Da Nang Union of Friendship Organizations, and the University of Foreign Language Studies for holding the event, noting it is “a great example of how we work every day toward our goal of shared prosperity.”  Consul General Damour also met with Da Nang University Vice President Professor Le Quang Son to discuss educational partnerships between the United States and Vietnam, and toured the university’s Maker Innovation Space.  The space opened in 2017 in collaboration with USAID, Arizona State University, and Fablab Da Nang to enable students use new technologies to create innovative solutions to community development challenges.  
On November 24, Consul General Damour and USAID/Vietnam Mission Director Ann Marie Yastishock met with the Vice Chairman of the Quang Nam Provincial People’s Committee Ho Quang Buu in Tam Ky City, the Vietnam Red Cross Society, and families in Tam Thang Commune affected by the recent severe flooding to offer their condolences and express support for Vietnam’s disaster relief efforts.
USAID has been supporting Vietnam with disaster risk reduction and disaster risk management activities since 2000.  Building on this long-term assistance, U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo announced on October 30 in Hanoi that the United States was providing an additional $2 million in humanitarian assistance to respond to Typhoon Molave and the ongoing severe flooding that has affected Central Vietnam since early October.  Altogether, USAID has committed more than $2.3 million in disaster relief funds to Vietnam to help local partners address the immediate humanitarian needs of vulnerable communities in affected areas.  
While in Da Nang, the Consul General also had a chance to meet with U.S. businesses at an event hosted by AmCham Da Nang and to learn about local biodiversity conservation efforts during a visit to the Son Tra Nature Reserve with Le Thi Trang, Deputy Director of local non-profit GreenViet and an alumna of the U.S. State Department International Visitor Leadership Program.  

DIEP NGUYEN