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