|UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam Ramla Al Khalidi__Photo: giaoducthudo.vn
Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Vietnam Ramla Al Khalidi has highly valued the country’s efforts in developing the economy, ensuring social security, and realizing climate targets, in a recent interview granted to the Government e-newspaper.
She said the Vietnamese Government started its current tenure with numerous difficulties due to the emergence of new COVID-19 variants.
In response to the pandemic, it launched a widespread and rapid vaccination campaign in late 2021. By the end of 2022, each Vietnamese had been given an average of 2.7 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, much higher than the average in Asia (1.9) and Europe (1.8).
The success of this vaccination campaign created the basis for fast economic recovery last year, when Vietnam was the only in the region to post a growth rate exceeding the forecasts released by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, Khalidi noted.
The global economic growth has slowed down in 2023 as central banks around the world have raised interest rates to curb inflation. Facing that fact, the Vietnamese Government has issued effective policies to protect domestic consumers from adverse impacts of inflation. The country recorded the highest inflation of 4.9 percent in January, and the rate fell to 2.1 percent in July.
Responding to such external challenges as the slow rebound of purchasing power and a plunge in exports, the Government has flexibly carried out fiscal and monetary measures to stimulate domestic demand, she went on.
In terms of the Government’s efforts to ensure social security, she said the social security system’s coverage has expanded considerably over recent years, especially in people’s access to health insurance.
A better social security system will provide means for directly supporting domestic demand while protecting vulnerable people and groups from suddenly falling into poverty, the UNDP official added.
Talking about Vietnam’s efforts to reach climate targets, Khalidi held that the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy will enhance energy security, reduce pollution, and stabilize energy prices in the long run.
The approval of National Power Development Plan VIII has been broadly welcomed as a demonstration of the country’s resolve to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, she continued, stressing the importance of effectively coordinating this plan with the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP).
The JETP, pledging to mobilize USD 15.5 million to help with the local transition, is a joint effort by Vietnam and the International Partners Group, comprising Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, the US, the EU, Denmark, Norway, and the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero.
It includes ambitious targets about reducing greenhouse gas emission and coal use in power generation and also calls for protecting vulnerable groups that may face risks during the energy transition process like workers of industries and low-income earners affected by energy price increases.
UNDP is actively joining the Vietnamese Government in analyzing economic and social impacts of this transition, including identifying the groups and localities needing additional public assistance, according the official.- (VNA/VLLF)