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Government gets comprehensive technical assistance to reform social assistance system

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combiHa Noi, 19 February 2014 – 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.

Setting reform agenda for a more efficient social assistance policy system
The USD2.3 million project “Support to the reform of Social Assistance Policy system” will work 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.

“The social assistance policy system should be built with new approach, based on human rights and in a more systematic and coherent manner,” said Mr. Nguyen Trong Dam, Vice Minister of MOLISA, 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”.

Creating a shared vision and harmonizing different policies
Mr. Bakhodir Burkhanov, UNDP Deputy Country Director, 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.

“The Project is designed to support to address some of these challenges,” he said. “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.”

Ensuring complementarities and synergies with existing initiatives   
The new project 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.
Representatives of development partners present at the launch welcomed the coordination approach initiated and led by the Government and discussed further steps to further ensure complementarities and synergies of different of    projects supporting social assistance reform during their implementation.

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