WB, Australia to support Vietnam in mitigating COVID-19 impacts

The World Bank (WB) Group and the Australian Government have agreed to extend their strategic partnership in Vietnam with a commitment of a further AUD5 million to support Vietnam’s economic recovery and protect the most vulnerable from the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo courtesy of World Bank

Photo courtesy of World Bank

The funds, provided by the Australian Government and administered by the World Bank Group, are additional financing to the ongoing Australia-World Bank Group Strategic Partnership – Phase 2 (ABP2) that focuses on supporting Vietnam’s development agenda through knowledge sharing and advising policy-making.

“The additional funding will help address emerging challenges and critical needs of Vietnam post COVID-19,” said Ousmane Dione, the World Bank Country Director for Vietnam.

“By providing support in key areas such as private sector development, trade integration, and innovation, the program aims to help the country’s economy gain back its full potential in the fastest and most sustainable way,” he said.

“Vietnam should be very proud of how it has tackled COVID-19,” said Robyn Mudie, Australian Ambassador to Vietnam, adding that “the next challenge for Vietnam, as for Australia, will be to replicate the successes of the health response in the economic response.”

The Australia-World Bank Group Strategic Partnership will continue providing world class economic advice and analysis for Vietnam’s leaders and policy makers to accelerate economic recovery, with an increasingly strong focus on gender equality and social protection, she added.

To address the potential loss of human capital from COVID-19, the activities to be funded will protect and support vulnerable groups, including by strengthening social safety nets with more efficient and effective delivery of social security payments; narrowing human capital gaps, particularly for ethnic minorities, with a well-designed ethnic minority national targeted program; and improving gender equality in legal frameworks.

The funds will also be directed towards economic recovery activities, including accelerating the execution of the investment programme while deepening trade integration, supporting the private sector strengthening resilience against future shocks through structural reforms, and taking advantage of the digital agenda by reducing transactions costs for the government, people, and businesses.

The ongoing ABP2 programme, signed in April 2017, aims to support Vietnam’s key national reforms, which are intended to gradually benefit millions of Vietnamese people and help the Southeast Asian country reach its ambition of becoming a high-income economy by 2045.

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