Increasing the effectiveness of international support

Friday, 2019-12-13 11:01:26
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In recent years, NGOs have turned their investment priorities to human resource training
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NDO – Foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are considered to be one of the important factors contributing to the world’s sustainable development. However, the changing and unpredictable international and regional situations have set new requirements in the work of NGOs in Vietnam, in order to attract international resources that match the country's development conditions.

In recent years, geopolitical tensions, the rise of populism and extreme nationalism, trade conflicts, and trade protection have posed negative impacts on the world’s security and stability as well as affecting aid policies of NGOs.

Vietnam has seen positive progresses in ensuring macro-economic stability and inflation control. The country has also reaped encouraging achievements in reducing poverty, increasing development indicators and improving the quality of people’s lives. With Vietnam having become a lower middle-income country, the country has been removed from the list of priorities for overseas NGOs. This has posed a number of difficulties for Vietnam in mobilising foreign aid.

According to Bui Thanh Son, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Head of the Committee on Foreign Non-Government Organisations, the Party and State view people-to-people diplomacy, including relationships with NGOs, as an important diplomatic channel, apart from Party and State diplomacy.

Implementing the policy of innovation and integration, and exerting domestic reforms efforts, Vietnam has strived to fully increase the effectiveness of international resources, including support from NGOs.

According to the People’s Aid Coordinating Committee (PACCOM) under the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO), although many NGOs have adjusted their priorities, Vietnam still welcomes around 30 new NGOs every year. To date, Vietnam has established relations with approximately 1,200 NGOs. Of the figure, 500 are highly active in Vietnam. Foreign NGOs have poured roughly US$1.47 billion worth of non-refundable aid in the 2014-2018 period.

In recent years, NGOs have turned their investment priorities from infrastructure and public constructions to human resource training, public healthcare, promotion of women’s participation and role, preservation and promotion of national cultural values, environmental protection, and biological diversity. The foreign aid has been used effectively while the partnerships between donors and recipients have been enhanced.

As a developing country, Vietnam has been proactively and positively integrating into the region and the world. However, the globalisation, particularly the fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) which has brought about significant scientific and technological advances, have led to major changes in the socio-economic situation of every country, including Vietnam.

In addition, Vietnam still needs the support from the international community, including NGOs, to continue its efforts to overcome war consequences, damages from natural disasters and the negative effects of climate change. In this context, the working with NGOs has been adjusted to increase the efficiency and diversify sources of funding.

However, PACCOM has pointed out several shortcomings in the working with NGOs, which can be seen in the turbulent flow of information among ministries, sectors and localities about donors and the inadequate understanding about the use of international aid.

According to VUFO President Nguyen Phuong Nga, the Union has not only worked to mobilise more foreign aid, but also to build and maintain relationships, exchanges, understanding and support from NGOs, thus facilitating the national development and integration.

The Party and the State always encourage and create favourable conditions for the international community, including NGOs, to have a better understanding of the land and people of Vietnam, thus fostering friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and the world, maintaining the image of Vietnam as an example of successful cooperation towards sustainable development goals.