ODA effective in reducing poverty in Vietnam

With an average gross domestic product of 7.5 percent over the past five years, Vietnam is now experiencing sustained economic development. The United Nations Development Program recorded a marked decline in the country’s poverty rates from over 58.1 percent in 1993 to 24.1 percent in 2004, which the government further hopes to reduce to 11 percent by 2010.

“Vietnam is one of the few (developing) countries that has successfully connected economic growth and poverty reduction,” said Asian Development Bank Vietnam Office Director Ayumi Konishi.

Bridging the income gap between the dominant ethnic group, the Kinh, and the 50 ethnic minority groups, which make up almost one third of the poor, remains a big challenge, but much of the gains in Vietnam can be attributed to Official Development Assistance. An ADB-funded water facility in the Dakrong district in Quang Tri Province, for example, was completed in 2003, and now provides clean and accessible water to 10,000 people.

At a donor meeting held last year, combined pledges of ODA in 2007 from the international community totaled $4.45 billion – the largest amount yet for the country.

Source: With ODA, Vietnam begins to pull itself out of poverty (The Japan Times)

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