Australian project to boost gender equality in Lao Cai hinh anh 1 Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Robyn Mudie visits a community-based tourism model within the framework of GREAT project in Ta Phin commune, Sa Pa town. (Photo: Vietnamplus)

Hanoi (VNA) - The Australian Embassy in Vietnam visited local authorities, businesses and communities benefiting from Australia-funded projects in Lao Cai province on June 5-6. There, the embassy delegation met with local people and learned about the effectiveness of the project and the benefits it has brought to them.

Over the past 10 years, Lao Cai province has received very active support from the Australian Government through a number of programs and projects. Among others is the project to improve women's economic status through value agro chain promotion in Bac Ha district; and the investment project on sustainable vegetable production and business in Sa Pa district.

To carry out the GREAT project in Vietnam for the 2017-2022 period, the Australian government has donated a total capital of 17.7 million AUD (equivalent to nearly 300 billion VND). Lao Cai is the biggest beneficiary with an allocation of 16.85 million AUD (equivalent to 287 billion VND).

The delegation of the Australian Embassy visited models sponsored by GREAT project such as Red Dao Community Cooperative, Community Tourism Cooperative in Ta Phin commune, Sa Pa town. To mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic due to the sharp drop in international arrivals, GREAT has supported cooperatives to transform their business models and strengthen their online businesses.

Australian project to boost gender equality in Lao Cai hinh anh 2Presenting certificates with Australian standards to lecturers at Lao Cai College. (Photo: Vietnamplus)

The delegation also met with the staff of the Lao Cai College, which it has helped to connect with Australia's Chisholm Institute. The two sides are cooperating in carrying out a training program on hotel services for ethnic minority students, including female students. The Australian institute also helps build capacity for Lao Cai college’s teaching staff.

Receiving the Australian Embassy delegation on June 6, Deputy Secretary of the Provincial Party Committee, Chairman of the People's Committee of Lao Cai Trinh Xuan Truong said that Australia's support has helped improve the lives of the local poor, poor areas and ethnic minority areas.

“The Australian Government's non-refundable ODA is a very important resource in integrating the implementation of local socio-economic development goals. This is especially so with the implementation of national target programs, such as building new countryside, sustainable poverty reduction, socio-economic development in ethnic minority and mountainous areas in the current period," said Trinh Xuan Truong.

Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Robyn Mudie said: "I am very proud that through GREAT, more than 9,000 women in Lao Cai have been able to increase their income, and I believe this number will continue to increase. Through the program, women have improved their skills and confidence, and successful models of the project have been replicated through national target programs."

According to Ambassador Robyn Mudie, in the next 5 years, the GREAT project will continue supporting Lao Cai's development in the two fields of agriculture and tourism, and commit to supporting economic empowerment in the long-term for local women.

GREAT is Australia's most important gender support project in Vietnam, with a total value of AUD 33.7 million. The project cooperates with businesses, NGOs and State agencies of Vietnam to build an inclusive market and business system in the fields of agriculture and tourism in two provinces of Son La and Lao Cai. The project serves to ensure that local women and ethnic minorities actively participate in and benefit from this growth and related economic activities./.