A representative of the Vietnamese Embassy in France presents necessities to Vietnamese citizens detained in Coquelles in February 2018 (Source: VNA)
Assistant to the foreign minister and head of the Foreign Ministry’s Consular Department Nguyen Minh Vu said the ministry and relevant agencies have offered protection for 608 vessels with 5,197 fishermen and 26 firms involved in international maritime transport, as well as safely brought home about 2,000 people working in the fishery sector, the largest number so far.
Representative agencies abroad took measures to conduct search and rescue work; as well as support Vietnamese nationals in cases of earthquake, disaster, fires, and terrorism that caused severe damage in terms of human and asset loss.
Since the 29th Diplomatic Conference, up to 151 bulletins on citizen protection, including travel warnings, have been published on the ministry’s portal or consular work website: www.lanhsuvietnam.gov.vn.
Portals of Vietnamese representative agencies also issued travel warnings in cases of crises in the Maldives and Syria, or terror attacks in Belgium, France, and Turkey.
Since early 2018, telecom provider Viettel has sent over 450,000 SMS messages updating its roaming subscribers abroad of the citizen protection hotline ( 84 9818 484 84), which contributed to the increase of its receiving calls to over 2,400, up 100 percent year-on-year from 2017.
In the near future, the ministry will continue working with telecom groups Vinaphone and Mobiphone to launch similar proactive steps, as well as provide hotlines of representative agencies for incoming citizens.
Ambassador to Russia Ngo Duc Manh, for his part, said citizen and community protection is one of the top tasks of the embassy, adding that it has regularly updated information and helped the Vietnamese community deal with difficulties that have arisen.
Ambassador to Japan Nguyen Quoc Cuong said the embassy has partnered with the Consulates General in Osaka and Fukuoka to offer support to the Vietnamese Association, the Vietnamese Entrepreneurs’ Association, the Vietnamese Youth-Students’ Association and the Vietnamese Buddhists’ Association in Japan, and chapters of the Vietnamese Association in many regions and localities.
The embassy plans to establish a database on the Vietnamese community in Japan to update them about the latest Vietnamese Party and State’s guidelines and policies, as well as respond to disasters and earthquakes.
Vu said the ministry will continue with high-tech application in citizen protection – including launching online citizen registration and upgrading several public administration services from the third to fourth level – and consider the construction of a crisis response centre to deal with contingency cases facing Vietnamese nationals abroad.
It will also work closely with ministries, agencies, and localities in the effort, he confirmed.