Vietnam’s development is still hindered by poverty, income inequality, corruption, health disparities, and poor infrastructure, among other issues. With a population of over 86 million, seventy percent (70%) currently live in rural areas. General poverty is at 16%, but it is mostly concentrated in the Central region and highlands of Vietnam—where it reaches levels as high as 30%.
If the international definition for poverty is to be used, that is, if a person lives on less than $1.25 per day, these percentages given above would at least be doubled. In Vietnam, poverty is defined as $15 per month for a person living in urban areas and $11 per month for a person living in rural areas. In analyzing data collected from 12,000 youth from ages of 18 years old and younger served through Friends of Hue Foundation’s Mobile Clinic Program, close to 80% of the children had helminthiasis which is a parasitic disease where an organ of a body, usually gastrointestinal tract, is infested with parasites. 41% was malnourished and near 40% were diagnosed with intestinal related diseases including diarrhea. 26% was diagnosed with trachoma which is an infectious eye disease caused by a bacterium called Chlamydia trachomatis and is also known as a blindness disease.
Friends of Hue Foundation (FHF) is highly aware of this situation and constantly strives to find solutions to lift the impoverished out of poverty and bridge the disparities. FHF’s Food Program aims to gap the needs of basic food and nutrition of the poor living in Central Vietnam and for victims at times of natural disasters.
FHF distributes food (rice, noodle, and milk) and clean water to the poor through its Disaster Relief program and Mobile Clinic Program (MCP). Food distribution heightens during the months of September through December as it marks monsoon flooding season making basic food inaccessible or unaffordable to the poor. FHF works closely and provides support to other orphanages as well as shelters for abandoned elderly like Tinh Duc’s Shelter for the Elderly.
 Division of Population Health, Provincial Public Health Department of Thua Thien Hue Province
 Population Survey by Hue University’s Department of Agricultural and Forestry