Vietnam, int’l community join hands to address population issues hinh anh 1 UNFPA and MRI representatives sign a new partnership agreement (Photo: Vietnamplus)

Hanoi (VNA) - The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Vietnam and the Mitsubishi Research Institute (MRI) signed a new partnership agreement on August 25.

UNFPA and MRI representatives have committed to working closely with the Government of Vietnam and the international community to address population aging and other emerging population issues.

Population aging is a global phenomenon and part of major ongoing global changes. Between 2015 and 2050, it is estimated that the number of older persons aged 65 and above worldwide will increase from 703 million to about 1.5 billion, accounting for 15.5% of the world's total population.

Vietnam has officially entered the "ageing phase" since 2011 and is projected to become an "aged" society by 2036. The number of older persons (60 years or over) is 12.6 million, 12.8% of the total population. However, it is expected to increase to 22 million by 2038, accounting for 20% of the total population. This will make Vietnam one of the most rapidly aging countries in the world.

Addressing the signing, Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA representative in Vietnam, said: "We'll be working closely to promote the rights and dignity of older people by improving health and social care services and creating an enabling environment for the elderly.

"Following the signing event today, the plan is for both UNFPA and MRI to explore the best models for Vietnam in providing for older persons and preparing young generations for a future in which all ages are celebrated, and no one is left behind."

Kenji Yabuta, MRI President, said: "In Japan, the population has been aging rapidly since the 1980s, and the proportion of the elderly out of the total population is now the highest in the world at over 28%. We are very pleased to sign the MOU with UNFPA in Vietnam and feel that UNFPA is truly acting as a bridge between Japan and Vietnam".

This new partnership will focus on the issues of aging and other population matters, such as sexual and reproductive health and rights, health care for young people, and gender equality.

Key activities include conducting joint research and communications; consulting and supporting project execution, and organizing events for public sharing of research findings; developing personnel training and exchange programs; promoting public-private partnerships in the light of population aging and emerging population trends; and expanding a network of Vietnamese and Japanese entities to encourage the development of care and support for the elderly.

The Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc. (MRI) is a Japanese think-tank founded in 1970 in commemoration of the centenary of the Mitsubishi Group. Its mission is to resolve societal issues in Japan and worldwide through our think tank, consulting, and ICT capabilities.

It employs roughly 800 researchers with high levels of expertise in various fields, particularly in the natural sciences, and exceptional technical and analytical abilities. Moreover, it rigorously maintains a neutral position, enabling us to develop an extensive, interdisciplinary network with industry, academia, and government members.

MRI is a hub connecting all sectors to overcome increasingly complex societal issues and provides integrated solutions that embrace everything from conceptualisation to realisation and implementation.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), formerly the United Nations Fund for Population Activities, is a UN agency aimed at improving reproductive and maternal health worldwide. Its work includes developing national healthcare strategies and protocols, increasing access to birth control, and leading campaigns against child marriage, gender-based violence, obstetric fistula, and female genital mutilation.

The UNFPA supports programs in more than 144 countries across four geographic regions; the Arab States and Europe, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and sub-Saharan Africa.

UNFPA in Vietnam is implementing the 10th Country Program for the 2022-2026 period, to fulfil the transformative promise of "Leaving No One Behind".