EuroCham Hosts Webinar to Update Members about the “Breathe Again” COVID-19 Fundraising Campaign

On Friday 20 August, EuroCham hosted a webinar to brief members on our new, ambitious fundraising effort. With cases continuing to rise and healthcare professionals working around the clock to treat patients, EuroCham this week launched the “Breathe Again” campaign. We are encouraging our members to donate to this important fund which will be used to procure much-needed medical equipment for Vietnam's hard-pressed hospitals. In just a few days, the campaign has reached almost 700 million VND.
  

  

The webinar attracted over 150 attendees and featured special guest speakers Alain Cany, Chairman of EuroCham; H.E. Mr Paul Jansen, Belgian Ambassador to Vietnam; Bruno Angelet, Security Policy Director at the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and former EU Ambassador to Vietnam; Associate Professor Dr. Nguyen Lan Hieu, Director of Hanoi Medical University Hospital; and Gricha Safarian, General Manager at Puratos Grand-Place and instigator of the initiative.

EuroCham Executive Director Delphine Rousselet and Chairman Alain Cany opened the webinar and provided a short update about the background of the campaign. We know that our members want to support Vietnam during these difficult times, and this campaign gives a transparent, fast, impactful, and efficient mechanism to make a real difference to patients where it is needed most. One hundred per cent of the funds donated will go to procuring medical devices and equipment, which will be delivered straight to hospitals in some of the hardest-hit provinces. Companies or individuals wishing to make a donation can do so here: https://breatheagain.fund/

Dr Hieu then shared his personal experience as a doctor on the frontline in Binh Duong. He said that the situation is much more difficult in 2021 and, therefore, hospitals have a greater need for medical equipment. However, it is hard to source these supplies and patients are suffering as a result. Gricha Safarian then discussed how the initiative first came into being. He wanted to support the local hospital in Binh Duong. However, he recognized that donating was easier said than done because it involves authorization, medical knowledge, and suppliers. Therefore, once the first successful donation had been made, the next challenge was to scale the campaign. Gricha then contacted EuroCham and asked the chamber to take up the mantle so that the “Breathe Again” initiative could reach the widest possible audience and deliver the greatest possible impact.

Bruno Angelet stressed the importance of being practical and how we can convince donors based in Europe to support the campaign. He announced that fundraising would also begin in Europe next week, mobilizing bilateral chambers and potential donors in the EU. Ambassador Paul Jansen then shared that this initiative is a practical action that Europeans can take to support Vietnam. Procuring vaccinations is a government-to-government affair. However, we know from our experience in Europe that medical equipment is essential to keeping patients alive. Therefore, this campaign can make a tangible difference to Vietnam’s fight against the pandemic.

In the Question & Answer session, participants discussed the rising caseload in southern provinces, the treatment of patients, the progress of vaccination in Vietnam, and recent EU vaccine donations such as those from France and Poland. Ambassador Jansen stressed that private-sector campaigns such as “Breathe Again” are able to move at speed and make a big difference in a short amount of time. Meanwhile, Alain Cany reassured attendees that EuroCham can provide supporting documents for their donations in order to meet their compliance requirements.

To find out more about the Breathe Again campaign, or to make a donation, visit us here: https://breatheagain.fund/

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