(CPV) – With continuing funding from the US Congress, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) announced six new projects serving persons with disabilities in Vietnam aimed at promoting health, social inclusion and disability rights. “Persons with disabilities can play an important role in Vietnam’s continued development. USAID’s support is designed to help them realize their potential with involvement of family, government and civil society, which will contribute to the broader goal of a more inclusive Vietnam. Cooperation supporting persons with disabilities is also an important element of the Comprehensive Partnership between our two countries,” said USAID Vietnam Mission Director Joakim Parker. USAID’s new projects will include support for the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, enhancing the coordination and enforcement of Vietnamese disability legislation, improving rehabilitation service systems and providing direct assistance to persons with disabilities in the areas of physical, occupational, and speech therapies. The projects broaden USAID assistance at the provincial level. Three of the projects are implemented by local Vietnamese organizations; the other three are implemented by organizations that have been active in Vietnam for a long time. The US’ commitment to supporting persons with disabilities in Vietnam began in 1989 with the Leahy War Victims Fund. Building on that legacy, USAID has improved the welfare of over 23,000 persons with disabilities since 2010 alone by providing sustainable, higher quality services, enhancing education and employment opportunities, strengthening advocacy, and supporting public policies that protect their rights./.