First Donor Project to Support Implementation of Comprehensive Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy
Ha Noi - The UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ministry and Planning and Investment (MPI) signed today a project to help translate into action the Comprehensive Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy (CPRGS), 6 months after its adoption by the Prime Minister.
The new project of approximately $300,000 comes at a moment when ministries and provinces are entering the second year of implementation of their own ten-year sectoral strategies and five-year (2001-2005) socio-economic development plans, as well as the annual planning process for 2003.
The main objective of this project is to help, on a pilot basis, mainstream the CPRGS into provincial annual and long-term development plans.
"Successful implementation of the CPRGS will depend not only on continued leadership from the central government but also on local authorities working to ensure that it is integral to achieving their poverty reduction targets at local levels", said Ms. Kanni Wignaraja, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative.
One example of the difficulty of aligning policy-making at the local level with commitments at central government is the uneven distribution of the private sector development across the country.
The CPRGS has been applauded for embodying Viet Namÿs commitment to maintain economic growth, social inclusion, and poverty reduction. The challenge at this implementation stage is to make sure the CPRGS properly translated by ministries and provinces into their policy formulation, programming and allocation decisions.
"One of the emerging challenges resulting from rapid economic growth is widening inequality among provinces, among ethnic groups and by gender. As Viet Namÿs integration process gathers momentum, it is important that responsive social policies are developed in tandem with economic policies to ensure that no one is left behind the development process. " said Ms. Wignaraja. According to UNDP, key tasks will include increasing public budget for basic social services, putting in place social safety nets for the most vulnerable and ensuring an even and rapid distribution of jobs in the development of the domestic private sector across the country.
The project will work with MPI, Ministry of Finance and Tra Vinh province in reviewing the current process and criteria for public resource allocation to increase investment to pro-poor sectors such as health and education as well as to poorer communes and districts.
The project will also support an inter-ministerial Steering Committee and inter-ministerial working unit, consisting of experts from MPI, other key ministries and mass organizations, and a Secretariat. These structures will be established to monitor the implementation of the CPRGS and of translating the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) into action.