Ben Tre strives for sustainable poverty alleviation

Two hundred children aged from 5 to 15 years old took part in the final round of the contest entitled “Critical thinking through painting 2017”. (Photo Courtesy of Mathnasium Vietnam) Hanoi (VNA) - The most creative children were awarded in the final round of the contest titled “Critical thinking through painting 2017”, which was held on July 30 at the Vietnam University of Fine Arts in Hanoi. The contest was organised by Mathnasium Vietnam, a centre that aims to introduce children to new and creative methods in learning mathematics. In the final round of the contest, children had to draw paintings which include a circle, square, rectangle, logenze, trapezium and other shapes. The first, second and third prize went to children whose paintings have the most original idea, the most interesting style and the most variation in colours. Eleven-year-old Le Phuong Thao from Hanoi won first prize for her painting with the most original idea. This final round attracted the participation of 200 candidates aged 5-15, from Hanoi, Hung Yen, Hai Phong and Da Nang, out of 2,000 contestants participating since the eliminator round in mid July. Besides this, there were 10 consolation prizes for creative drawings and 10 hope prizes for the drawings that were the most amusing. Organisers said the contest aims to affirm that mathematics is not so “dry”, and that it can even be very “artistic”. Through the contest, children can develop different skills including creation and logical…... [read more]

Phuc affirmed the high-level delegation of the Lao Central Steering Committee on Rural Development and Poverty Reduction that the aid aims to help Laos reduce poverty rate and implement major projects. The Vietnamese Party, State and Government always attach importance to strengthening special solidarity and time-honoured friendship between Vietnam and Laos, he noted. The Deputy PM stressed the need to educate young generations about the two countries’ glorious traditions and boost bilateral comprehensive cooperation in various fields for mutual benefits, particularly in poverty reduction and rural development. Phuc asked Vietnamese functional agencies and the Central Steering Committee on Rural Development and Poverty Reduction to make proposals on poverty elimination and rural development efforts in both countries.... [read more]

The Working Group for Public Administration Reform (GPAR), the Gender and Community Development Network (GENCOMNET), and the Food Security and Poverty Elimination Network (CIFPEN) hosted an April 26 seminar in Hanoi to discuss reports on Vietnam’s human rights situation. The Vietnamese Government and relevant agencies are actively preparing for the UPR’s consideration of the country’s human rights situation. Tran Chi Thanh, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs International Organization Department’s Human Rights Section Head, noted Vietnam participated in the first UPR cycle in May 2009. The Vietnamese Government’s report has been prepared by ministries under the overarching direction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In the lead-up to the UPR’s second cycle, the deadline for submitting reports from concerned parties to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) is June 17 2013. Government reports should be submitted by October 28 2013 at the latest. Vietnamese civil society organizations have compiled their own official report to submit to the OHCHR for the first time. Their report acknowledges the Vietnamese State’s efforts in protecting human rights while pointing out elements of State apparatus where enforcement of human rights could be improved. The civil society organizations recommend establishing a national independent human rights agency to monitor the Vietnamese State’s human rights obligations, particularly in regards to civil and political rights. Constitutional amendments will help set up the suggested agency in the hopes of safeguarding against potential human rights violations.... [read more]

Sean Doyle, ambassador and head of the EU delegation to Vietnam made the statement in Hanoi on June 7at the launching ceremony of Blue Book 2010 - an annual report on EU development cooperation in Vietnam. The EU Blue Book 2010 provides an overview of the development cooperation between the EU and Vietnam, outlines its main policy orientations, primarily poverty elimination. It also provides concrete facts and figures on the achievements made in 2009 and indicative commitments for 2010. The launch of this book coincides with the EU’s latest decision to fund the Annual Action Plan 2010 for Vietnam with 62,25 million euro for three priority actions, including support for ethnic minorities through the Programme 135 worth 12 million euro, the first health sector budget support worth 39.25 million euro and the Environmentally and Socially Responsible Tourism Capacity Development Programme worth 11 million euro. The Blue Book this year underlines the importance of gender perspectives in development which are crucial to ensure better and more sustainable results. Moreover, this book also highlights recent EU initiatives in an area of particular relevance for Vietnam, environment and climate change area, which focus on the careful and rational use of natural resources and contribute to promoting measures to combat regional or global environmental problems.... [read more]

While meeting in Hanoi, representatives from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) discussed agriculture, food security, indigenous people's rights to sustainability, ethnic minorities and disadvantaged people, as well as water resources and solutions for environmental protection in rural areas. SRD Director Vu Thi Bich Hop said her centre has carried out eight projects to support farmers in 47 communes in the northern and central regions with financial resources from international donors including Spain, Australia, the Netherlands, Denmark and Canada. The aim is to improve local farmers’ economic knowledge and technical skills in developing agricultural production, marketing and cooperating with partners. Under the project to develop rice varieties in the northern province of Bac Kan, funded by the Dutch Catholic Organization for Relief and Development Aid (CORDAID), two community-based centres have been set up to provide more than 1,200 local farmers with basic information about rice production. As a result, average rice yields in the province have increased by 30 percent, while the use of pesticides has decreased by 50 percent. Farmers are now able to spend 70 percent less on buying rice seeds than before and their incomes are up 15-20 percent. Shifting from the self-supply to goods production model most farmers can invest more in producing rice seeds for sale. A research project to promote the chicken farming value chain has got off the ground in Bao Thanh commune, in the midland province of Phu Tho. With funding from the Catholic NGO Manos Unidas, the SRD has helped local farmers learn how…... [read more]

The leader told visiting European Commissioner for International Co-operation and Development Neven Mimica in Hanoi on November 17 that Vietnam always wishes to continue the equal and mutually beneficial cooperation with the EU in all areas, for mutual development. Hailing the working visit to Vietnam by Neven Mimica and the outcomes of his meetings with the Vietnamese agencies, PM Dung thanked the EU for continuing the provision of official development assistance (ODA) for Vietnam. The Commissioner highlighted the cooperation with Vietnam over the past time, saying he believes that the bilateral ties will develop intensively and extensively across economics, trade, investment, development cooperation, politics, the environment and climate change combat. The EU promises and is resolved to closely cooperate with Vietnam – a big and important partner, he said. Neven Mimica said the early ratification of the Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation and the signing of the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement will create a basis for the two sides to push their relationship forward. The EU backs Vietnam’s growth and sustainable development and will provide more ODA for the country in public administration, justice, health care, poverty elimination, clean energy, greenhouse gas reduction and climate change response. The EU is currently the second biggest trade partner and one of the two largest export markets of Vietnam. In 2014, two-way trade exceeded US$36.8 billion, a year-on-year increase of 9%. It included nearly US$28 billion worth of Vietnamese exports which are mainly footwear, apparel, coffee, wood products and aquatic products. Twenty-three…... [read more]

Viet Nam News Khánh Dương QUẢNG TRỊ - For the first time, poor farmers in Quảng Trị Province, including those belonging to ethnic minority groups, are getting serious about organic farming. Unlike earlier, when the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides was seen as indispensable to boosting productivity and remaining competitive, thousands of farming households see organic farming offering sustainable livelihood and a way out of poverty. The change in attitude has resulted from projects supported by New Zealand's Aid Programme, Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and World Vision Việt Nam. The project has taught more than 1,500 farmers in the province learned to farm without using any chemical products, including pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilisers and preservatives. The projects, funded with a budget of more than US$ 3 million, the projects targeted neediest farmers, offering them easily applicable know-how as well as markets to buy their produce. They demonstrate that organic farming is a way to protect soil fertility, safeguard water resources and ensure food security. In Triệu Phong District, for instance, farmers have been instructed to make chemical-free pesticides with garlic, chilli, onions and other products that are easily available. "Following this natural farming method, I compost organic fertiliser using agricultural waste and livestock manure. I use ginger, chilli and garlic to prevent pests and treat plant diseases. Although this involves more work, it is not harmful to my health," said Nguyễn Thị Lan, a farmer in Triệu Phong. According to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development,…... [read more]

EU pledges 716 million euro in ODA for Vietnam By Thanh Trung - The Saigon Times Daily HANOI -The European Union reiterated on Tuesday that it remains committed to assisting Vietnam in its socioeconomic development in the future, and will provide the country 716 million euro in official development assistance this year. Speaking on Tuesday at the launch of the "Blue Book 2009," an annual report on the European Union development cooperation in Vietnam, Sean Doyle, Ambassador and Head of the European Commission (EC) to Vietnam, said that their ODA for Vietnam in 2009 is equal to 17.82% of the bloc's total external aid. Almost half of the ODA for Vietnam this year is gratis aid, at 308 million euro, he said. The EU Blue Book 2009 provides an insight into the development cooperation between the EU and Vietnam, underlines its main policy orientations - primarily poverty elimination - and provides concrete facts and figures on the achievements of 2008 and indicative commitments for 2009. The EU as a whole (European Community and Member States) remains a key player in assisting Vietnam's socio-economic development, as the largest provider of grant assistance to Vietnam, Sean Doyle said, adding more funds would be pledged in the coming years. "From now to 2013, EU commits to increase its development assistance to Vietnam to an average of 20%", Doyle said at the press briefing. Michal Kral, Ambassador of the Czech Republic that assumes the EU Presidency now, explained why the EU was a strong…... [read more]

EU reaffirms stance as leading development partner to Vietnam By Thanh Trun - The Saigon Times Daily HANOI - The European Union (EU) has reaffirmed its role as a leading development partner to Vietnam, according to a new publication launched on Monday in Hanoi. The launch of the book coincided with the EU's decision from last Friday to fund the Annual Action Plan 2010 for Vietnam with an amount of 62.25 million euros for three priority actions. Providing a snapshot of the development cooperation between the EU and Vietnam, the Blue Book outlines its main policy orientations - primarily poverty elimination - and also provides concrete facts and figures on the achievements made in 2009 and indicative commitments for 2010. The European Union as a whole remains a key player in assisting Vietnam's socio-economic development, as the largest provider of grant assistance to Vietnam. The total EU indicative commitment for 2010 is 940 million euros, of which one-third is grants totaling some 303 million euros. Furthermore, the book also highlights the EU contribution to continued progress in the aid effectiveness agenda in Vietnam. The book includes an outline of the EU Aid Effectiveness Road Map 2010 - proposed actions aiming at making EU development cooperation with Vietnam even more efficient.... [read more]

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc requested ensuring better life for people who were relocated to make way for the construction of the Son La hydropower plant, saying the task will spur socio-economic development in the northwestern region. Speaking at a conference in Dien Bien province on October 1, the PM said the resettlement work has been carried out over the past 15 years and needs to continue in a sustainable manner to ensure the targeted households have a good spiritual, material, and cultural life. The foreseeable task is to take care of the local livelihoods while education and training for youngsters will be the far future duty, he directed. He requested the State Steering Committee for Son La Hydropower Project to pay more attention to implementing social infrastructure projects, developing rural areas, and supporting the operation of agricultural cooperatives, and industrial and farming encouragement centers. The PM urged localities to build political and administrative systems in the resettled areas, strengthen solidarity and mutual assistance in the community, and implement effectively the State’s policy on sustainable poverty elimination. He asked ministries and localities to remove any difficulties during the resettlement process and quicken the implementation of 35 projects to develop agricultural production and improve living conditions for the relocated people. Son La hydropower plant constitutes one of the key national projects to supply electricity for the national socio-economic development, industrialisation and modernisation. It is significant to prevent floods in the rainy season and provide water in the dry season for locals…... [read more]

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