Provinces in the central region should include reducing poverty into the region’s overall development plans and work closer with donors to create and put into action projects that reduce poverty, improve infrastructure and develop human resources.

International donors made these suggestions at the 2012 mid-term Meeting of the Consultative Group (CG) for Vietnam , which came to a close in the central province of Quang Tri on June 5.

They emphasised the need for provinces to have capacity-building programmes and apply creative ways of addressing the poverty issues that face ethnic minority people as well as people who are on the poverty line.

When discussing the management of natural disasters, many of the participants said that it is essential to have better coordination between the central and provincial authorities as well as between individual provinces and their development partners.

The central provinces also need to overhaul their plans to develop riverside communities and update their flood prevention precautions by expanding early warning systems and drawing up risk management plans, they added.

The Group applauded Vietnam ’s actions when dealing with challenges in midterm risk management and prevention and pledged to support the country in this field.

After sitting for two days, the meeting had covered several major issues including the macro economy, reducing poverty in a sustainable manner, natural disaster risk management and reform of CG meeting organisation.

The Group also praised the Government for its success in stabilising the macro economy, thanks to the effectiveness of Resolution No. 11.

However, they noted that the Government should not loose its monetary policy too soon as many hidden risks still lie ahead. They added that now the macro economy is stable, the Government needs to focus on speeding up the restructuring of banks, State-owned businesses and public investment.

When discussing Vietnam’s breakthroughs in reducing poverty, the Group acknowledged the challenges central provinces face when carrying out poverty reduction policies, such as; high poverty levels amongst ethnic minority people; the low growth rate; poor infrastructure and dependence on agriculture; the impacts of climate change; poor access to education and low efficiency in public administration.

When delivering her closing speech, the World Bank’s Country Director Victoria Kwakwa, who co-chaired the meeting, underlined the development community’s determination to support Vietnam in the years ahead.