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Volume 410: debated on Friday 19 September 2003

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development if he will make a statement on aid to Vietnam. [131239]

DFID is finalising a new Country Assistance Plan for Vietnam, which will be published in November. The key objectives of this plan are: more effective, efficient and equitable use of public financial resources; promotion of socially inclusive development and greater accountability of Government to citizens; and support to economic and social transition from a centrally planned economy to a market economy. These objectives will support the Government of Vietnam's own Comprehensive Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy (CPRGS).Under the new CAP, DFID's assistance is planned to increase from £26 million in 2003–04 to £60 million in 2005–06. This increase is in response to the Government of Vietnam's success in and continuing commitment to, reducing poverty. The incidence of poverty has halved from 58 per cent. in 1992 to 29 per cent. in 2002.DFID's current assistance to Vietnam includes supporting the development of primary education, the building and maintenance of rural roads, public financial management reform, state owned enterprise reform, reducing HIV infection, and area based rural development in the Northern Mountains and Central

Region. We will continue to work in these areas. We are also directly supporting the Government of Vietnam's reform programme under the CPRGS by providing budget support through the World Bank Poverty Reduction Support Credit. In addition we are supporting the development of the National Assembly, and a project to analyse how market institutions can achieve better development outcomes for the poor. Our assistance is mainly co-financed with other donors.