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Foreign non-governmental organizations contribute to Quang Tri’s socio-economic development

Director of Quang Tri Department of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Trieu Thuong told the Quang Tri Newspaper about the role of foreign non-governmental organizations in the province’s socio-economic development.

Over the years, efforts to promote foreign non-governmental aid (NGOs) in the province have made a significant impact. Could you summarize some notable achievements in this endeavor?

In July 1989, Quang Tri Province was reestablished. As a region heavily devastated by war and frequently affected by natural disasters, with a low starting point in socio-economic development, after nearly 35 years of innovation and growth, Quang Tri Province has achieved significant accomplishments across all sectors. Achieving these results has been a joint effort between local initiatives and the support of international organizations and partners through non-governmental aid (NGOs).

Immediately after the Prime Minister approved the National Program on Strengthening Cooperation and Mobilizing Non-Governmental Aid for the period 2019-2025, the Provincial People’s Committee of Quang Tri issued the Program for Promoting Non-Governmental Aid Mobilization in Quang Tri Province for the period 2020-2025, in line with the province’s economic and social development plan, the five-year socio-economic development plan, and annually integrated with the poverty reduction and new rural development program of the province. The program focuses on seven priority areas: agriculture, forestry, fisheries, rural development; healthcare; education; addressing social issues; post-war consequences; environmental protection; and enhancing capacity and technology transfer. The tangible results achieved in implementing these projects serve as a convincing testament from the local government to sponsors, reinforcing trust and further enhancing the excellence of non-governmental aid mobilization efforts.

Foreign non-governmental organizations contribute to Quang Tri’s socio-economic development

The collaborative efforts of international organizations alongside local initiatives in environmental restoration and post-war recovery are demonstrated through a simulation model at the Exhibition Center for Mine Action Activities in Dong Ha City. Photo: D.T

Currently, Quang Tri Province has established cooperative relationships with over 60 international organizations and NGOs. In just four years (2020-2023), the province and its partners mobilized over $91 million in non-repayable aid capital, surpassing the planned target for the 2020-2025 period of $60 million.

Especially noteworthy is the achievement in 2020, where Quang Tri Province mobilized 77 projects and non-project aids from NGO funding sources, with a total committed value exceeding $55.4 million, marking the highest record to date.

Quang Tri has become one of the leading provinces in the country in terms of the value of mobilized non-governmental aid, with approximately 10% of the total aid value. Programs and projects of NGOs/funders are focused on various areas such as post-war consequences alleviation, healthcare, education and training, social issue resolution, disability support, disaster prevention and emergency relief. Among these, the most prominent area of implementation is the clearance of landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) after the war. NGO collaboration projects have significantly contributed to poverty reduction, post-war consequences mitigation, and socio-economic development in localities.

NGOs have contributed significantly to social development investment, accounting for about 2.24% of the total social development investment capital and 13.1% of the total provincial budget revenue in the period from 2020 to 2023. Aid projects in rural and mountainous areas account for 91.5% of the total aid value across the province, following the priority directions of NGOs to focus on disadvantaged and deprived areas.

In the field of agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and rural development linked with poverty reduction and new rural development programs, NGO aid projects have improved livelihoods, enhanced production quality, provided access to input resources (such as breeds, preferential loans, fertilizers), created employment, and increased income for poor households and people with disabilities. Many successful production models such as goat and cattle breeding, pepper cultivation, and organic rice production have been replicated and proven effective.

In healthcare and community health care, aid focuses on community health care activities (including maternal and child health), ophthalmology, cervical cancer screening, malnutrition prevention, and raising awareness of environmental improvement for health protection. Training sessions and capacity-building for grassroots healthcare workers have yielded practical results.

In education, training, and vocational training, aid has helped improve conditions in localities and schools through new construction, renovation, and repair of schools, classrooms, libraries, and kindergartens, helping students better understand the dangers of landmines, accumulate knowledge and skills to recognize and prevent potential risks and accidents. Scholarship programs serve as meaningful encouragement and motivation for poor students to strive and excel in life.

In addressing social issues, aid has reached vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in society such as the poor, people with disabilities, contributing to preventing violence against women and children, family violence, and supporting victims' reintegration into the community, raising awareness of gender equality. Rehabilitation activities for people with disabilities have gradually improved their quality of life in all aspects, facilitating their integration and equal participation in social activities, maximizing the capacity of people with disabilities to contribute to the overall development of the community.

Regarding landmine clearance, this remains a focal area with relatively large-scale aid projects and long implementation periods. Aid resources, along with the efforts of local authorities and beneficiaries, have played an important role in continuing to address the severe consequences of war, minimizing the risks of landmine accidents and explosions, raising awareness of self-protection, and supporting capacity-building for local partners.

In environmental protection and climate change adaptation, efforts are still modest due to the limited activities of organizations in this field in Quang Tri Province.

In enhancing management capacity, technology development, and resource mobilization, NGO projects have contributed to improving management capacity, involving community participation in planning, and training local human resources, especially in mine clearance activities.

Could you elaborate on the measures that the Department of Foreign Affairs has undertaken and is currently implementing to fulfill the promotion of non-governmental aid mobilization in Quang Tri Province for the period of 2020-2025, and what are the prospects?

Clarifying the crucial role of promoting non-governmental aid as well as the need for financial and technical resources from non-governmental aid in socio-economic development, the Department of Foreign Affairs leads and coordinates with relevant sectors to set specific objectives from now until the end of 2025 for non-governmental aid activities at the local level, including:

Continuing to thoroughly implement the provisions of Government Decree No. 80/2020/ND-CP regarding the management and utilization of non-refundable aid not belonging to official development assistance from foreign agencies, organizations, and individuals for Vietnam; Government Decree No. 58/2022/ND-CP regulating the registration and management of activities of non-governmental organizations in Vietnam; and the Program for Promoting Non-Governmental Aid Mobilization in Quang Tri Province for the period 2020-2025. This includes prioritizing territorial and sectoral mobilization efforts. Sustainable development value projects should be prioritized during this period.

Continuously reviewing and improving cooperation mechanisms implemented during the 2020-2022 period for application in the 2023-2025 period, while also issuing appropriate orientations and policies according to practical needs.

Strengthening friendship and cooperation between Quang Tri Province and existing non-governmental organizations within the province, expanding relationships with potential non-governmental organizations, and maintaining and enhancing the value of non-governmental aid through increased monitoring, evaluation, and cooperation capacity with non-governmental organizations.

Enhancing the integration of national and local programs/projects with non-governmental programs/projects to accelerate socio-economic development in difficult areas and improve non-governmental activities' effectiveness. Emphasis should be placed on researching non-governmental organizations, sponsor policies, and effective cooperation mechanisms to propose efficient mobilization measures, activity management, and non-governmental aid.

Encouraging non-governmental organizations to implement long-term programs/projects to help localities proactively plan cooperation. Strengthening information provision and dissemination about non-governmental organizations through the Quang Tri Department of Foreign Affairs bilingual website or Zalo groups for work exchange.

Maximizing the role of the Department of Foreign Affairs as the leading unit, guiding agencies, localities, and partners on non-governmental activities and foreign aid in the province. Continuously promoting regular dialogue and administrative reform in cooperation with non-governmental organizations and sponsors. Enhancing the quality of coordination mechanisms among relevant provincial agencies in managing and mobilizing non-governmental aid at the local level.

Quang Tri Province is undergoing continuous transformation and development. International organizations and non-governmental have been integral to the province’s achievements in ensuring social security, poverty reduction, and implementing socio-economic development strategies. Quang Tri aims to fulfill the economic and social objectives set forth in the resolutions of the 17th Provincial Party Congress, considering relationships with non-governmental organizations as crucial elements. This not only contributes to increasing resources for the locality but also realizes and enhances the effectiveness of the Party’s people-oriented foreign affairs work.

Non-governmental programs/projects have transitioned from “giving” to "co-development." Currently, project stakeholders are both recipients and active participants. Quang Tri has and will continue to excel in this aspect, aiming to build its image as a dynamic, innovative, reliable province with a high commitment level.

Dao Tam Thanh - Ngoc Mai

Dao Tam Thanh - Ngoc Mai

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