By Son Nghia - The Saigon Times Daily
HCMC – Some 16,900 Vietnamese poor people have gained better incomes and livelihoods with 2,100 jobs offered to them by Vietnam Challenge Fund (VCF) as part of the “Making Markets Work Better for the Poor Phase 2” (M4P2) project.
The project is supported by the U.K. Department for International Development (DFID) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and managed by the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
Speaking at the final workshop for the three-year M4P2 project held in Hanoi on Thursday, Fiona Lappin, head of DFID in Vietnam, said VCF aims to promote the private sector’s ability to generate and invest in new ideas, and uses it for the benefit of the poor, through commercially viable business models.
With a new approach, experts of the project have helped Vietnam’s rural markets function better, with greater fairness for poor people joining such markets. The projects under M4P2 are diverse with involvement of private companies, joint-ventures, multi-nationals, and State-owned enterprises, reflecting the diversity of businesses operating in Vietnam’s agricultural sector.
Hoang Viet Khang, head of the Department for Foreign Economic Relations at the Ministry of Planning and Investment, said through innovative projects and policy changes, the M4P2 project has provided the poor with more opportunities to participate in and benefit from the economic growth process.
“The ministry wants to promote the project further in the coming years, and uses it as a new model of assisting communities that experience persistent poverty,” he added.
VCF has granted a total fund of over US$1.26 million, with an additional US$2.45 million contributed by participating companies.
M4P2 aims to increase participation of the poor in three areas namely public-private partnership in infrastructure services, value chains and private sector employment.