Vietnam lies along the eastern coast of Southeast Asia. It extends 1,000 miles from the Chinese border in the north to the Gulf of Thailand in the south. Cambodia and Laos share the country’s western borders. At its narrowest point, Vietnam is only about 30 miles wide.

  • Population: 90,795,800
  • Life Expectancy: 76 years
  • Access to Safe Water: 96%
  • School Enrollment: 99%
  • Land Mass: 127,880 sq. mi.
  • Literacy Rate: 93%
  • Under Age 5 Mortality Rate: 23/1000
  • Average Annual Income (GNI): 1,400

Facts about Vietnam

Disaster Response

Vietnam is highly prone to different types of natural disasters. Typhoons are the most common.

Food & Agriculture

Though Vietnam has made significant progress in the numbers of underweight children, stunting is still very high. As of 2009, the stunting rate of children under 5 was 31.9 percent.

Food & Agriculture

Logging and slash-and-burn agricultural practices have contributed to soil degradation and deforestation. Other environmental issues include water pollution, overfishing, contaminated potable water supplies, and urbanization.

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Progress in Vietnam

Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors. World Vision was able to work alongside communities to accomplish the following in 2014.

  • Demonstrating Christ’s love through our actions, we worked among children and families to promote peace and justice and encourage understanding.

  • Children, parents, and community leaders were trained in child rights and the prevention of child abuse, as well as the importance of involving children in community development activities.

  • Through our children's groups, boys and girls had opportunities to strengthen their leadership skills and relationships, and to participate in making the community a better place for children to live.

  • We worked with parent-teacher committees to get parents more involved in their children's education and encourage them to volunteer at schools, libraries, and school nutrition gardens.

  • Farmers were able to water their crops year-round thanks to new irrigation systems we built, leading to increased rice production and improved household incomes.

  • Parents and caregivers were trained in nutrition and the prevention and treatment of childhood illnesses, diarrhea, and respiratory infections, as well as healthy hygiene and sanitation practices to prevent the spread of disease.

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    World Vision in Vietnam Today

    World Vision is committed to partnering with the people of Vietnam to improve their lives today and to help enact sustainable solutions for the future of their children, families, and communities. World Vision’s child sponsorship program plays a vital role in this partnership, with donors from the United States sponsoring more than 4,800 girls and boys. In addition to sponsorship, World Vision operates other programs that benefit communities in Vietnam. Highlights include:

    • Benefiting 67,000 children under 5 and their parents through nutrition programs.
    • Improving the quality of education by training teachers and establishing reading clubs.
    • Empowering children and giving them opportunities to be involved in all decisions concerning their life at home and in the community.

    World Vision History in Vietnam

    World Vision work began in 1960 in Vietnam, but was suspended in 1975. World Vision continued to provide a small amount of assistance in the country, and to help Vietnamese refugees. Child sponsorship resumed in 1992. Since then, some major accomplishments include:

    • Supporting orphanages and providing care for malnourished and abandoned infants during the 1960s.
    • Providing civil war refugees with food and offering specialized training for teachers, social workers, and public health nurses during the 1970s.
    • Helping communities recover from typhoons that damaged rice crops by rebuilding dikes and supplying new seeds for planting throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
    • Creating and sustaining jobs through a microenterprise program since the early 21st century.

    Geography & People

    Geography and people

    Vietnam lies along the eastern coast of Southeast Asia. It extends 1,000 miles from the Chinese border in the north to the Gulf of Thailand in the south. Cambodia and Laos share the country’s western borders. At its narrowest point, Vietnam is only about 30 miles wide.

    Much of the land is rugged and densely forested, and river deltas contain rich soil. The tropical climate includes a monsoon season as well as frequent typhoons.

    Natural resources include phosphates, coal, manganese, bauxite, chromate, oil, natural gas, forests, and hydropower. More than half of the labor force works in agriculture. Products include rice, coffee, rubber, cotton, and tea.

    Almost 90 percent of people are ethnic Vietnamese, making this country one of the most homogenous societies in Southeast Asia. The official language is Vietnamese, but people also speak English, French, and Chinese.

    Vietnamese names are traditionally in the order of family name first, then the given name. If a person has three names, the middle name comes before the given name.


    Although Vietnam declared independence from France after World War II, Vietnam did not gain its freedom until a few years later. The 1954 Geneva Agreement divided the country into North and South Vietnam, sparking the 20-year Vietnam War.

    In 1973, U.S. involvement in the war ended and the two sides signed a peace settlement. Communist forces from the north reunited the country in 1975.

    Vietnam continues to be a one-party state ruled by the Vietnamese Communist Party. The government has committed to enacting more liberal economic policies and reforms in order to boost the economy.

    In January 2007, after a 20-year wait, Vietnam became a member of the World Trade Organization. Citizens hope this move will continue to boost the economy and help ensure liberalizing reforms today.

    Prayer Requests for Vietnam

    • Please pray for the disparity in wealth and well-being between urban and rural Vietnam to become narrower.
    • Pray also for safety and protection for children who are at risk of being trafficked or exploited.