A regional conference on social welfare was held in Hanoi on May 6 to discuss ways to promote the field in four participating countries.

The event was co-oganised by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA), the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ).

Ministerial-level managers and leaders working in social welfare, insurance organisations and agencies, and research institutes from four Southeast Asian countries including Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam discussed current challenges in the region.

They look to improve a social-security expert network between the regional countries and Germany by establishing an interdisciplinary dialogue forum.

According to MOLISA Deputy Minister Nguyen Trong Dam, guaranteeing social welfare is one of the country’s major policies and orientations.

Dam said Vietnam has been implementing a system of policies and programmes to assure public social security and provide social services in health, education, fresh water, food and relief.

More than 40 policies and programmes are underway to support people, in particular vulnerable groups, he noted.

During the conference, participants emphasised the importance of the effective and sustainable operation of social welfare systems in the context of globalisation and worldwide changes in population.

Globalisation and economic growth bring about various opportunities for poor people but result in inequality in their societies and between countries, they said.

Since 2007, BMZ and GIZ have devised many social welfare programmes to train the participating countries’ young officials and leaders.

The programmes help strengthen the officials and leaders’ capacity to make policies and assure social security in the participating countries.

Vietnam’s training organisations relating to social security need to enhance their capacity and regulations to meet national and regional requirements, suggested participants at the conference.-VNA