• Viviane Nguyen

Politics of Relief Funds for Vietnam’s Flood Victims

The month of October 2016 unleashed torrential flood waters in the central region of Vietnam.

Tens of thousands of homes are underwater, and rescue efforts were launched to rescue villagers stranded on rooftops. Relief efforts have been slow as they were complicated by the politics of allocating charity funds. Countless Vietnamese Americans organizations are hosting fundraisers to help the cause.

In the Trung Thon village, reports of relief funds distributed by a local charity organization were later confiscated by village officials. Households who refused to return the money were threatened they will not receive any future relief funds.

The collection of the relief funds by Trung Thon village officials were rationalized as means to better redistribute funds to help other villagers instead of focusing on a few households. However, historically, the distribution of relief funds have been delayed by officials instead of going directly towards the locals impacted.

A few days later, after some pressure, the same officials who collected the funds from the affected villagers returned the money to the villagers. There needs to be more transparency and speedy relief efforts to assist the locals impacted by the severe flooding.

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Viviane Nguyen She is a lover of politics. She has researched and worked in different levels of government in San Jose, Sacramento, Washington D.C., and Thailand. She is motivated to highlight issues impacting the Vietnamese-American community and Asian American communities at large. She was formerly a Cal-in-Sacramento Fellow at UC Berkeley and notably a Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow at the Goldman School of Public Policy. She wants to write to show why politics, especially in 2016, is important.

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