As a country of average income, Vietnam is encountering numerous challenges that require strong, continual support from international development counterparts, including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

At a recent ceremony to mark 20 years of the UN’s official aid programme to Vietnam, UN Resident Coordinator Pratibha Mehta noted that rapid growth is a reason behind increasing welfare spending and social inequality that is negatively affecting ethnic minority people, people with disabilities and those living in the remote areas.

Therefore, she said, the UN master plan for the 2010-2016 period aims to help Vietnam deal with an array of foreseeable challenges pertaining to social inequality, national administration with the involvement of local residents, human rights, climate change and green growth.

The UNDP in Vietnam is striving to more effectively support local Government in promoting sustainable development in combination with human rights, realising the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the national socio-economic development strategy during the 2011-2020 period.

It is also helping the country build and implement national programmes on poverty alleviation, fighting corruption, and ensuring social welfare for the poverty-stricken and ethnic minority people.

It vows to help Vietnam with specific and appropriate solutions to utilising effectively energy resources and mitigating natural calamities risks, as well as encouraging local women to get involved in a range of fields such as public affairs, right of land use, climate change adaptation, and environmental management work.

Vietnam ranked sixth in the world on MDG fulfillment in 2012. Its remarkable progress over the past two decades has been recognised globally and serves as an encouragement for other nations, Mehta said.-VNA