A UN Development Progamme-funded project to support the reform of Vietnam’s social assistance policy system for the 2013-2016 period was launched in Hanoi on February 19.

The project, implemented from November 2013 until December 2016, aims to contribute to the enforcement of a Resolution from the 11th Party Central Committee’s fifth plenum on social welfare in the 2012-2020 period.

Under the project, by 2020, there will be 2.5 million beneficiaries of permanent social support, of which 30 percent are the elderly.

According to Deputy Minister of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Trong Dam, the social welfare system will be established based on a minimum living standard to address development issues in a multi-dimensional approach, thus ensuring the prevention of social risks and social protection coverage for all people.

UNDP Deputy Country Director Bakhodir Burkhanov reiterated the overall objective and targets of making the social welfare system more effective, thereby sustaining the progress in poverty reduction and social development in the middle-income Vietnam for years to come.

There is a need for enhancing the ability to deliver timely and effective social services to beneficiaries despite time and budget constraints, he added.

The project has received a total investment of 2.3 million USD, including 2 million USD of UNDP non-refundable aid.-VNA