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UN in the News

Inequality a threat to goals

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UN officials discuss what the nation can do to achieve the remaining Millennium Development Goals and maintain the five it has reached.

john_hendraJohn Hendra, UN Resident Co-ordinator

I think Viet Nam faces some very specific challenges which have the potential to undermine the achievement of Viet Nam's development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

First, we are seeing signs of rising inequality in cities like Ha Noi and HCM City, and this is starting to come through in some key indicators, such as measures of income inequality, as well.

A second challenge relates to the quality and affordability of social services such as health and education. The Vietnamese pay very high out of pocket costs for these services compared to other countries in the region. The quality of these services is also a concern and we are seeing better off families going overseas for health care and sending their children to overseas universities as well. As a middle-income country, Viet Nam now needs to focus not only on the availability of services, but ensuring access to quality social services for its entire people.

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Engage ethnic minorities in nation’s growth: UN

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Vietnam needs to change its approach to ethnic minorities, according to John Hendra, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Vietnam.

Hendra said that Vietnam has done well with its poverty reduction programs for ethnic people minority. But “in order to be able to say that Vietnam has achieved all the [Millennium Development] goals in every part of the country, it is very important to deal with the ethnic minorities people in a different way and in a better way,” he said.

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Viet Nam achieves first MDG: FAO

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According to a report released by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) on September 14th, Viet Nam has achieved the first Millennium Development Goal (MDG), “Reducing poverty and hunger”. The first MDG aims to reduce the people living with under USD1 per day by 50 percent in comparison with 1990; ensuring sustainable jobs for people of working age, including women, and reducing people suffering from hunger by 50 percent in comparison with 1990. According to UN statistics, Viet Nam’s investment in studying and developing agriculture has reduced the hunger rate by more than a half, from 28 percent in 1991 to 13 percent in the 2004-2006 period. The rate of underweight Vietnamese children has also decreased from 45 percent in 1994 to 20 percent in 2006.

From Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper p2, Thursday 19 September 2010

Inclusive growth remains critical for Vietnam: UN

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Independent Expert on extreme povertyA United Nations independent expert in extreme poverty called on Vietnam to take further steps to ensure that ethnic minorities are not left behind in the nation’s impressive march toward middle-income status.

“The road ahead is much more difficult,” said Magdalena Sepulveda, the UN independent expert on human rights and extreme poverty at a Tuesday (August 31) press conference that marked the end of her nine-day visit to the country.

 

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Vietnam's children face rising inequalities: UN

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As reported by AFP newswire

rural_childrenHANOI, Tuesday 31 August 2010 (AFP) - Vietnam's growth has been relatively equitable but the country's children are facing rising inequalities, the United Nations said Tuesday.

Ethnic minority and rural youngsters are generally the most disadvantaged, said Geetanjali Narayan, chief of planning and social policy for the UN Children's agency UNICEF.

She spoke at the launch of a report on the social and economic conditions of the roughly 30 million children in Vietnam.

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