The programme for poverty reduction in Vietnam, funded by Sweden continues its Phase 2 until 2012. The Swedish support is 75 million SEK for the implementation and monitoring of the programme from November 2009 to July 2011. The overall development goal is “Increasing prosperity in the rural areas with a fair income distribution and decentralised governance.”
The commitment was made following the signing of a Specific Agreement in Hanoi on 30 November 2009 by the Ambassador of Sweden, Mr Rolf Bergman and the Vice Minister of Planning and Investment of Vietnam, Mr Cao Viet Sinh. The specific objective of the Vietnam – Sweden Poverty Alleviation Programme – Chia Se, Phase II is to integrate efficient mechanisms for achieving enhanced poverty reduction and decentralised governance in poor rural areas into national development plans and then applied.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, the Ambassador of Sweden, Mr Rolf Bergman said that the agreement is unique in a sense that Sweden is now phasing out its bilateral development cooperation and changing into a new form of Partner Driven Cooperation. He added: “Sweden received a request from the Government of Vietnam for the continuation of Chia Se as it contains good results in governance at the village level. Lessons learnt from Chia Se Phase I will be incorporated into the Vietnamese system through Phase II.”
The Vice Minister of Planning and Investment, Mr Cao Viet Sinh stressed that the signing of the agreement constituted a turning point in the bilateral cooperation between Vietnam and Sweden. He said: “Vietnam is grateful to the Government and people of Sweden for their support and assistance in the past, at present and in the future. I call on programme’s beneficiaries to utilise the fund from Sweden in the most effective and efficient manner, thus contributing to poverty alleviation in their areas.”
Chia Se Phase II is expected to achieve the following results after two years of support from Sweden:
1. Sustainable poverty reduction and participatory development processes achieved within the direct program area.
2. Within the direct program area, mechanisms initiated by Chia Se I for poverty reduction and grassroots participation have been simplified and harmonized with the government system.
3. Chia Se is well-known also beyond the direct program context in the provinces involved.
4. Approaches and mechanisms identical or similar to those of Chia Se have begun to be utilized also outside the districts and provinces involved in the program.
Fundings for the two last years of Chia Se Phase II will come from the Government of Vietnam.