Government gets comprehensive technical assistance to reform social assistance system

19 Feb 2014

Ha Noi – The Ministry of Labour - Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) in partnership with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) launched a project today to help Viet Nam realize its commitment in reforming  social assistance policy system.

The project “Support to the reform of Social Assistance Policy system” will contribute to the Resolution 15’s directions for improving the social assistance system based on the minimum living standard. The project works towards a reform agenda to make the social assistance policy system more efficient, reaching more beneficiaries and providing better benefit levels to the most vulnerable groups.

Through the project, the contents for improving and reforming the social assistance policy system will be defined. The project will support the development of a road-map of social assistance reform as well as the implementation of social assistance system reform.

According to Mr. Nguyen Trong Dam, Vice Minister of MOLISA, the Central Party Committee - Section XI had promulgated the Resolution No.15-NQ/TW at the Fifth Conference on some issues of social protection in the period 2012 - 2020 (Resolution 15-NQ/TW). Resolution No.15 advocated for reforming the social protection system.

“Such a system should be built with new approach, based on human rights and in a more systematic and coherent manner,” said the MOLISA leader at the project launch. “The social protection system will be established based on a minimum living standard to address development issues in a multi-dimensional approach, thus ensuring the prevention of social risks and social protection coverage for all people”.

Mr. Bakhodir Burkhanov, UNDP Deputy Country Director, reiterated the overall objective and targets of making the social assistance system more coherent and effective so that the system could systematically extend coverage and increase benefit levels to protect vulnerable people, and thereby to sustain and deepen the progress in poverty reduction and social development in the middle-income Viet Nam for the years to come.

He however named some of the challenges in achieving this objective, including creating a shared vision and roadmap for harmonizing and streamlining more than 40 different social assistance policies and schemes addressing 23 categorized vulnerable groups based on 7 different dimensions of needs or risks. At the same time, there is a need for enhancing the social assistance system’s ability to deliver timely and effective services to beneficiaries  against the background of fast increasing needs and budget constraints.

“The Project is designed to support to address some of these challenges,” said Mr Burkhanov. “The project will help policy makers to formulate informed vision, evidence-based options and roadmap for reforming the system of social assistance policies. It will also support sharing of international experiences and participatory consultations to define priorities for reform and to map out actions towards achieving the vision.”

The new project builds on a series of UNDP supported discussions in the last five years to establish foundation for the social protection scheme and directions for social assistance reform in Viet Nam. It complements other reform efforts, including the technical assistance to make a definition for Viet Nam’s overall social protection framework by GIZ; the introduction and scenarios for application of Social Protection Floor in Viet Nam and actuarial analysis for social insurance and pension scheme initiated by ILO; the review of social assistance policies supported by UNDP and GIZ; and the design and pilot a cash transfer programme for children and pregnant women supported by UNICEF and the World Bank.

For more information, please contact:

Nguyen Thi Yen, head of Administrative office, Social Protection Department, MOLISA, email: nguyenyenvn2002@yahoo.com; 84-437478675.
or
Nguyễn Việt Lan, UNDP Communication Officer,
email: nguyen.viet.lan@undp.org; 84-438224383 phone (ext 121)