Many activities during US Ambassador's first official visit to Lao Cai province
|Ambassador Knapper meets with Lao Cai Province People’s Committee Chairman Trinh Xuan Truong.|
In a meeting with Chairman of Lao Cai provincial People’s Committee Trinh Xuan Truong, Ambassador Knapper discussed the 10 year anniversary of the U.S.-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership – including U.S.-supported counter-trafficking in persons (TIP) programming, the steps the province has taken to combat TIP, and provincial officials’ approach to sustainable economic development.
“Countering human trafficking is a priority for the U.S. government and I want to thank you for our excellent cooperation here, including on several counter-trafficking projects in Lao Cai supported by the U.S. Embassy,” the Ambassador stated during the meeting.
|Ambassador Knapper meets with frontline workers who provide support services to trafficking survivors.|
Both sides also discussed ways to increase bilateral cooperation on a range of issue including environmental sustainability, ensuring equal access to economic opportunities, increasing access to routine immunizations and other health initiatives, and expanding English language programming.
During the trip, Ambassador Knapper also met with frontline workers to discuss the training they’ve received from USAID’s Meeting Targets and Maintaining Epidemic Control (EpiC) project. The project, implemented by FHI 360, has trained 50 social workers, representatives from the Women’s Union, members of the border guard, and other frontline workers in Lao Cai on best practices in receiving and supporting trafficking survivors.
The US diplomat visited Compassion House in Lao Cai City, a government-owned shelter for trafficking survivors run by the NGO Pacific Links Foundation and spoke with shelter staff and representatives from the Department of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs about the vital services they provide to trafficking survivors, including health screening, counseling, vocational training, life skills training, and job placement.
|Ambassador Knapper speaks to students at Kim Đong Junior Secondary School in Sa Pa.|
Following the event, Ambassador Knapper met with teachers and members of the school administration. The Ambassador also visited Ethos Spirit in Sa Pa, a social enterprise that works with Hmong, Dao, and other ethnic minority communities in the highlands to provide experiential tours for travelers seeking authentic cultural exchanges.
To conclude his visit, Ambassador Knapper toured Hoang Lien National Park and met with park officials, who described the work they are doing to protect the park’s fragile ecosystem, which includes many endemic and endangered plant species.
The U.S. Embassy, through USAID, has funded many projects on forest management, biodiversity, and conservation across the nation, including in Lao Cai province, to help Vietnam reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to impacts of climate change.
|Ambassador Knapper tours Hoang Lien National Park with park officials.|
To reduce pressure on the forests in Hoang Lien National Park, USAID’s Sustainable Forest Management project is working to create sustainable livelihoods for communities living in its buffer zones to increase their incomes and reduce their dependence on forests.
Meeting with officials from Sa Pa Township, Ambassador Knapper discussed their approach to promoting sustainable tourism, adding that he looks forward to increased expanded cooperation as more American tourists visit Vietnam, especially Sa Pa.