Impressive Progress Tackling Hunger in Vietnam

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HANOI — Efforts to address hunger in Vietnam continue to make progress, and the country still pushes the boundaries even further with a variety of programs and partnerships. Vietnam is widely noted for the advancement it made throughout the past few decades in terms of economic growth, as well as its progress on the Millennium Development Goals.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) described the country’s ascent to middle-income status in such a short period of time as a “development success story,” crediting reforms that occurred during the mid-eighties in the nation.

According to statistics for 2010-2012, the country only had about 9 percent of its population that qualified as undernourished. As for children, this number was only slightly higher at about 12 percent in 2011.

The UNDP pointed out that in terms of Millennium Development Goals (MDG) for the nation, Vietnam produced the most noteworthy headway in addressing poverty for MDG 1.

Although the general poverty rates are impressive, the food-specific poverty decrease is also commendable — from about 25 percent in the early nineties to about 7 percent by 2008.

However, the organization focused on the intersectional differences of how hunger impacts the nation, with about 30 percent of those identifying as an ethnic minority still enduring the struggles of food-related impoverishment.

While the status of hunger in Vietnam still entails much work, there are programs in place to help address the nation’s poverty.

One example is the nonprofit Heifer International, which highlights the Vietnamese administration itself as a funder. In addition to goals of advancement for females, higher earnings and improved social capital, the organization focuses its attention on matters like nutrition and the environment.

Its plans to benefit the nation involve the practice of value chains in the beef and dairy sphere, with the assistance of Vietnamese entities across many provinces.

Methods like “animal management” and “sustainable agriculture techniques” are taught to families, particularly women, for the sake of bettering production.

Another example of the country’s goals to reduce food poverty include its partnership with the United Nations in the National Zero Hunger Challenge in 2015.

The country’s participation means that its goals are meant to be achieved by 2025. The national action plan directs attention specifically to improving the state of Vietnam’s food security, rural development and poverty.

Then-Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dũng noted that this challenge was important for the country to direct attention to issues like poverty and food security in less urbanized regions, “especially in remote and isolated ones home to ethnic minorities and vulnerable groups.”

With a combination of government-affiliated measures, as well as nonprofit efforts, addressing topics like hunger in Vietnam will likely lead to major reductions in poverty and enhancement in its citizens’ lifestyles.

Maleeha Syed

Photo: Flickr

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Maleeha Syed

Maleeha writes for The Borgen Project from San Antonio, Texas. Her academic interests include Journalism, human rights and social justice, business and public policy. Maleeha has also been an active officer for an Amnesty International chapter for the past two years. She hopes this will prepare her for a future in reporting on the stories she is fascinated by, which deal with humanitarian struggles and how the political sphere either helps or hinders people.

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