Launching Event of Action Plan for Resolution No. 80/NQ-CP on directions for sustainable poverty reduction (2011-2020), NTPSPR and PRPP project

17 Oct 2012

Speaker: Ms. Louise Chamberlain, UNDP Country Director 
Date:      17 October 2012
Event:     Launching Event of Action Plan for Resolution No. 80/NQ-CP on directions for sustainable poverty reduction (2011-2020), NTPSPR and PRPP project.

Mr. Nguyễn Trọng Đàm, Vice Minister, Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs
Mr. Sơn Phước Hoan, Vice Chairman, Committee on Ethnic Minorities Affairs
Ms. Pratibha Mehta, UN Resident Coordinator 
His Excellency Damien Cole, Ambassador of Ireland
Distinguished guests from the Government
Development partners
Representatives from the media
Ladies and gentlemen,

Today, I am honored to be here for this important event to launch the Action Plan to implement Resolution 80 (2011-2020), the National Targeted Programme on Sustainable Poverty Reduction (2012-2015) and the joint Ireland-UNDP technical assistant project to support the implementation of Resolution 80 and the National Targeted Program (PRPP).

Viet Nam has made remarkable progress in reducing poverty and can also be proud in having achieved other Millennium Development Goal targets.

However, the reality is Viet Nam’s poverty rate is still high and chronic poverty persists, particularly among ethnic minorities. To underscore this point, 68% of households live below the poverty line in the North-West Mountainous area, while in the Central Highlands the rate is 51.8%. The poverty rate among Ba-na households is 86% and among H’mong it is 74%. These figures translate into ethnic minorities making up only 14% of the population, but as much as 54% of the total poor.

Ethnic minorities also significantly lag behind in other MDG indicators. For example, while child and infant mortality rates have fallen at a national level and among the Kinh majority, the rates among ethnic minorities have tended to increase. The literacy rate among H’mong women is 22%, compared to 92% of Kinh women. Ethnic minority children accounted for 30% of the national stunting rate in 2010.

In this context, the issuance of Resolution 80 and the National Targeted Programme on Sustainable Poverty Reduction - launched today on Viet Nam’s Day for the Poor and International Day for Eradication of Poverty - is timely.

The Resolution lays down the direction for accelerating poverty reduction among ethnic minority people and in the poorest mountainous and coastal/island communes and districts in Viet Nam. It is headlined by a poverty reduction target of 4% per annum in these areas - double the national average - with policies and resources to help the most disadvantaged communities achieve the target.

The National Targeted Programme for Sustainable Poverty Reduction 2012-2015  (NTP-SPR), as an integral part of Resolution 80, provides support to the poorest districts, communes and villages to improve infrastructure, enhance production and build implementation capacity.

We acknowledge the Government of Viet Nam’s willingness to cooperate with international development partners in the formulation of Resolution 80, its implementation roadmap and the National Targeted Program, which are being launched today.

During the formulation process over the past year, together we have also identified some challenges ahead in the implementation of the Resolution and National Targeted Program.

The First challenge is how to ensure effective coordination and uniformity in implementation of the line ministries’ policies supporting improvements in production, livelihoods, social services and social protection, and the support of the National Targeted Program in the poorest communities.

The Second challenge is how to empower communities and guarantee local people’s participation. Guidance for the implementation of Resolution 80 and National Targeted Program should promote “block grant” modality and mechanisms for mobilizing indigenous knowledge. Incentives should also be provided for applying innovative, gender and ethnic minority-sensitive solutions to tackle different problems in different local contexts. The Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs’ advisory role is very important in ensuring the relevance and sensitivity of the implementation of Resolution 80 and the National Targeted Program to the situation of people from ethnic minorities.

The Third challenge is how to build local capacity for implementation. A number of good initiatives have been promoted, particularly through Program 135-II to enhance community ownership and capacity development support from development partners/non-governmental organizations/civil society organizations on the ground.

The United Nations Development Programme with the committed support of Irish Aid will provide necessary technical assistance to support the Government of Viet Nam, at central and local levels, and local people to address these challenges. We hope that the project will make meaningful contributions to achieving the objectives of the Resolution 80, the National Targeted Program and the Government’s common goal of accelerating the achievement of MDGs among ethnic minority people and in the poorest communities in Viet Nam.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank MOLISA, CEMA and other Government agencies, International Development partners and Irish Aid in particular for forming a very close poverty reduction partnership during the past 6 years.  These joint efforts have made great contributions to the successful implementation of Program 135 phase II, the issuance of Resolution 80 and National Targeted Program and Joint Technical Assistance project. I look forward to seeing this cooperation develop further during the implementation of Resolution 80 and the National Targeted Program and the joint technical assistance project.

Thank you and “Chúc Sức Khỏe”.