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Speech by Ms. Louise Chamberlain, UNDP Country Director at the Final round - Competition on sustainable poverty reduction initiatives from community groups, PRPP project

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Date: 8:00-17:30, Monday 12 December 2016
Event: Final round - Competition on sustainable poverty reduction initiatives from community groups, PRPP project
Venue: Meeting Hall, 3nd floor, 25D, Lane 7, Ton That Thuyet Street, Hanoi

Mr. Nguyen Trong Dam, Vice Minister, Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA).
Distinguished Artists
Groups – contestants
Ladies and gentlemen

First of all, I would like to commend the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs for this initiative, where the Government shows that poverty reduction work could be done differently. This is a key message of the newly approved National Targeted Program on Sustainable Poverty Reduction which emphasises innovation and promoting the empowerment of poor people and their communities by mobilizing their inner strengths and capabilities to eradicate poverty with sustainable results.

I would like to congratulate the teams participating in this event today for their efforts and achievements. The variety of products displayed in the lobby of this meeting room - and the stories of the groups overcoming difficulties to make these products available in the markets and improve their livelihoods - suggest a big challenge for the evaluation panel in selecting the best teams for rewards!

UNDP very proud to have supported under the PRPP project with the support of Irish Aid. It’s great to see private sector sponsorship and participation of NGOs/civil society.
I also wish to congratulate all the sixty teams that participated in the competition – they are all winners! Their business ideas and plans are much more feasible now; their contacts with local authorities, mass organizations, NGOs, experts and private enterprises have been established and support is being provided for solving the identified problems in implementing their plans. I understand that some groups, such as from Thai Nguyen and Dam Da, Hoa Binh have already signed contracts with private companies for expanding their businesses.

Based on the experiences and lessons learnt during the implementation of PRPP project, I would like to underscore a few important factors that bring success in sustainable poverty eradication:

First of all, the inner strengths of the low-income people and their communities, their indigenous knowledge and innovations, once mobilized, are decisive factors of success. These groups proved that low-income communities can become equal actors in the markets and their products can be competitive. Being able to participate in the value chain is critical for improvements in their livelihoods.

Secondly, the successes of the groups also proved that the low-income households are capable of leading the development process. The show that the shift of Government at all levels from “managing” to “supporting, facilitating and connecting” can offer solutions for the effective implementation of the poverty reduction programs and policies in a sustainable way.   

Thirdly, we see the critical role that mass organizations, CSOs, NGOs and private sector play in poverty eradication. With their presence and capacity at grassroots level, these stakeholders have proven to be effective in extending capacity building support and connecting the poor people to the markets. If appropriately recognized and enabled to contribute, these stakeholders can play an important role in achieving the ambitious targets of the National Target Programmes.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

While lessons learns and experiences of this initiative will need to be drawn and analyzed, I am very pleased to hear about Vice Minister’s plans of replicating and scaling up this kind of competition. A national competition, with participation from all provinces/ cities of the country can offer a bigger opportunity for mobilizing inner strengths of many more grassroots groups and enabling more and CSOs, mass organizations, local government agencies and private enterprises to become active in capacitating the poor to improve their production and connect to markets.

We look forward to the implementation of the two National Targeted Programs on Sustainable Poverty Reduction and New Rural Development adopting the principle of enabling the local people and communities to be the drivers of poverty reduction, while investing in the capacities of the Government to play “facilitating and connecting” roles and mobilizing strong support from CSOs/NGOs, researchers and private sectors. When such principles are in operation, the Programmes can contribute more effectively to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of eradicating poverty in all its forms and everywhere in Viet Nam.

I wish good health and success to everyone here today.

Xin cảm ơn.