Vietnam’s leadership has laid out a challenge to itself and the nation to advance to middle income status by 2035. Achieving this goal will require government, business, and citizens to meaningfully transform political, economic, and social institutions to meet the challenges of globalized markets, mitigate climate, environment and health risks, and respond to the rising expectations of an emerging middle class. Our office in Hanoi is supporting these efforts with programs that promote effective governance and informed policy making; improve the quality and inclusiveness of economic growth; address environmental and climate change challenges; and create opportunities and strengthen protections for women and vulnerable groups.
Access to Banking
We launched a partnership with the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies and MasterCard to develop a mobile banking platform that gives low-income people better access to financial services. The project, which builds on a mobile banking feasibility study we commissioned in 2014, will be rolled-out to the bank’s 7 million account holders nationwide in stages over the next three-five years. The effort has been helped by MasterCard’s “branchless” platform that lowers the operational costs of banking. With support from the Australian Government, the platform will provide reliable, convenient, and flexible financial services to all the bank’s clients, including the many women-led small enterprises that are a specific focus of our efforts.
NEWS FROM VIETNAM
City Resilience Index
While the majority of Vietnamese live in rural areas, the shift to cities is underway. The urban population makes up 35% of the country’s population, a figure that will climb to 60% by 2050. Peri-urban areas, newly urbanizing areas largely in the urban fringe, are especially vulnerable to climate change due to rapid growth and transformation, often in an environment of weak governance and incomplete infrastructure. With support from the Rockefeller Foundation, we are working with the Ministry of Construction to develop a city resilience index to detect vulnerabilities and motivate action to address climate change. Last year, we piloted the index in five cities and provided training to 110 professionals. This year we will roll out the index in 28 cities nationwide.
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