Interview by Ms. Ramla Khalidi, UNDP Resident Representative in Viet Nam
Viet Nam wins global respect for human development achievements
January 13, 2023
As published in Viet Nam News Agency on 13 January 2023
UNDP Resident Representative in Viet Nam Ramla Khalidi has commended Viet Nam for its achievements in poverty reduction and development, as well as the country’s commitments to sustainable development goals (SDGs).
Hanoi (VNA) – UNDP Resident Representative in Viet Nam Ramla Khalidi has commended Viet Nam for its achievements in poverty reduction and development, as well as the country’s commitments to sustainable development goals (SDGs).
“Viet Nam has earned the respect of the global community and UNDP for its achievements in poverty reduction and human development,” she said in an interview with the Viet Nam News Agency on the occasion of the coming Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday.
According to Khalidi, Viet Nam offers many positive lessons for other developing countries, especially with regards to eliminating hunger, accelerating job creation for individuals and households in the bottom 40% of the population by income, increasing access to quality education and health care, and building basic infrastructure to achieve universal access to electricity and clean water.
She noted that Viet Nam’s commitment to the SDGs is evident in the incorporation of the SDGs to 115 Viet Nam SDGs, which are included in national development plans and strategies.
“I am deeply impressed by the close partnership between the Government and UNDP and other UN agencies to closely monitor progress toward the SDGs, improving the quality of data and analysing remaining gaps and policy responses,” she said.
The official lauded the rapid and equitable roll-out of vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Southeast Asian nation, which she considered a good example of the capacity of the Government in planning and implementing a complex national programme in a timely and effective manner.
“The success of the immunisation programme made possible a robust economic recovery in 2022, including a significant rebound in domestic consumption among the poor and near poor,” she added.
Notably, Viet Nam enjoyed a robust and broad recovery in 2022 after two years of slow growth during the COVID-19 pandemic, with its GDP growth for the year could be as much as 8% - much higher than earlier forecasts.
This strong recovery was achieved despite powerful headwinds like rising energy and food prices, strengthening US dollar, slow growth in external markets, and the lingering effects of the pandemic, she said.
Khalidi, however, pointed out that Viet Nam is still among the most vulnerable countries to climate change, saying despite tremendous domestic efforts to effective response to disasters and building resilience and adaptive capacities for the vulnerable communities who are at the frontlines of climate extremes, the country is still at high stake of climate losses annually in a number of sectors such as infrastructures, agriculture and food systems, water and natural resources, urban development and transportation.
Khalidi held that adapting to the negative effects of climate change and urgently mitigating the cause of global warming by cutting GHG emission to net zero target by 2050 will require an additional 30 billion USD per year in public and private investment over and above the business-as-usual situation.
In this situation, she suggested, public investment will play an important role in sustaining domestic demand, provide essential services like health care, education and clean water and sanitation, and provide conducive conditions to crowd in private investments and new international ODA to tackle the climate challenges.
A priority for next year and for the remaining years of the Socio-Economic Development Plan and Socio-Economic Development Strategy to 2030 is to achieve a closer alignment of public investment to national plans and strategies, Khalidi said.